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Eviction and the ending of a private sector tenancy

Landlords are entitled to evict tenants, but must do so legally and must follow the proper legal procedure to require a tenant to leave their home.

3 steps a landlord must take:

  1. A written and valid notice to leave is served
  2. A court order must be granted by the court
  3. You can only be evicted by a bailiff, they must have a warrant granted by the court

One of the main reasons for a legal procedure being in place is to provide due time for tenants to find other accommodation.  We will check that a landlord has followed the correct repossession process.  The process starts with a notice to end your tenancy.  If you have received a notice contact the housing advice team as soon as possible for advice and assistance. There are steps that can be taken to prevent you from becoming homeless. Our housing advice team will speak to the landlord on your behalf.

If the notice is valid and the landlord wants to repossess, finding somewhere else to live is often difficult.  It is worth trying to work with the landlord to try to resolve any problems so they do not continue possession.  Eviction and re-letting can be expensive for a landlord.

  • Speak to your landlord as soon as possible. Do you know the reason why they have given you notice? If not, ask them.

  • If the reason is rent arrears and you are struggling to pay your rent or have other debts that affect your ability to pay your rent, you should seek money and debt advice from your local Citizens Advice.
  • Offer to do what you reasonably can to address the problems
  • If you need help to manage your tenancy, agree to accept on-going support either from the landlord or from a support service
  • If the landlord agrees that they no longer have to leave, ask them to confirm this in writing

It is legal for tenants to stay past the end date of a section 21 notice. If you need to stay you should discuss this with your landlord. You should continue to pay rent and seek advice as soon as possible. Your landlord may prefer not to pay the fees to start court action, even though they can usually recover the cost from tenants later. A landlord may agree not to apply to the court if, for example, you are doing everything you can to look for alternative accommodation and addressing rent and problems in the meantime.

For more information Shelter is an excellent resource for help and advice for all types of tenancies and notices.

Call B4 You Serve

The local authority is committed to homelessness prevention at the earliest opportunity and in partnership has commissioned a Call B4 You Serve service specifically to support landlords. The dedicated service is available to help and assist landlords to resolve difficulties they may experience with tenants so they do not need to serve a notice.

Call B4 you serve leaflet [2MB]