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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.

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.

Landlords can contact the housing advice service here, you can get in touch before you serve a notice.

Section 21 Notice Checklist

This checklist is applicable for assured shorthold tenancy agreements commencing on or after 1 October 2015. Please note this checklist is provided as guidance only, you should seek housing advice and provide a copy of a notice as soon as possible.

  • The Section 21 Notice must:
  • be served after 4 months from the commencement of the tenancy
  • have been issued using Form 6A
  • give at least 2 months notice
  • The tenant has received a copy of the UK Government's 'How to Rent' booklet 
  • The tenant has received an Energy Performance Certificate (not applicable for a room in a House of Multiple Occupation with shared facilities)
  • The tenant has received a gas safety certificate dated within the past 12 months (if the property has a gas supply)
  • Where a deposit has been taken, if this was on or after 6 April 2007, the deposit has been protected in a scheme and is still protected, or has been paid back to the tenant before the Section 21 Notice was issued
  • The tenant was given information about where their deposit was protected
  • The deposit was protected in a scheme within 30 days of the landlord receiving it
  • The Council hasn't served an Improvement Notice or Emergency Remedial Notice concerning the property within the past 6 months
  • The tenant hasn't made a written complaint to the landlord about the condition of the property prior to receiving the Section 21 Notice
  • The tenancy isn't a House in Multiple Occupation under a mandatory licensing scheme.