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If you've got an eviction notice

This advice applies to England

Your council or housing association will send you a notice if they want to evict you. This is called a ‘notice seeking possession’. You won’t have to leave your home straight away.

If you’re still there on the date they want you to leave, your landlord will usually have to go to court to start the eviction process. There are lots of steps they must follow before they can evict you.

If you don't leave your home and your landlord takes you to court, you might have to pay their court costs as well as court fees. This can be expensive.

Check if your notice is valid

Your landlord must send you the correct notice - the rules depend on your tenancy type.

You should also check if your notice has any other mistakes on it - like the wrong address or name.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you're not sure what tenancy type you have or if you need help checking your notice. 

If you're a secure tenant

Your landlord must give you notice in writing.

It must:

  • say why your landlord wants you to leave - the reason they’re using to evict you and why
  • say the date after which they can start the court process - they must usually give you 28 days’ notice if you pay your rent weekly and one month’s notice if you pay monthly
  • be written on the correct form - check the form on GOV.UK

You should always mention if there are mistakes in your notice. In some cases, the court might decide that the case can go ahead anyway.

If you’re being evicted for anti-social behaviour, your landlord might be able to start the court process immediately. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help if you’re being evicted for anti-social behaviour.

If the notice says your landlord wants to evict you under ‘section 84a’

Your landlord doesn’t need to use the same form. They must still give you 28 days’ notice if you’re on a weekly tenancy, or 1 month if you’re on a fixed-term tenancy.

The notice must expire on the first or last day of your tenancy period - unless your tenancy agreement says something different.

They need to tell you:

  • why they’re evicting you  - they can only do this in limited circumstances
  • that you can ask for a review and the deadline for asking for a review
  • that you can get help from Citizens Advice, a housing aid centre, law centre or solicitor

If you're a flexible tenant

Your landlord must give you notice in writing.

It must say:

  • why your landlord wants you to leave - the reason they’re using to evict you and why
  • the date after which your landlord can start the court process - they must usually give you 28 days’ notice if you pay your rent weekly and one month’s notice if you pay monthly, but this can be less

Your tenancy agreement must say that your landlord can evict you during your fixed-term tenancy if you break the terms of your agreement.

You should always mention if there are mistakes in your notice. In some cases, the court might decide that the case can go ahead anyway.

If your notice says the landlord wants to evict you under ‘section 84a’

Your landlord doesn’t need to use the same form. They must still give you 28 days’ notice if you’re on a weekly tenancy.

They need to tell you:

  • why they’re evicting you - they can only do this in limited circumstances
  • that you can ask for a review and the deadline for asking for a review
  • that you can get help from Citizens Advice, a housing aid centre, law centre or solicitor

If the council is not renewing your tenancy

They must serve you with ‘a notice of non-renewal’ at least 6 months before your tenancy is due to end. It must explain why they’re ending your tenancy.

It must also tell you that you can ask the council to review their decision. You must ask for a review within 21 days of receiving the notice. The council must let you know their decision in writing. If they go ahead with the eviction, they must explain why.

Once they’ve sent you a notice of non-renewal, the council must send you a ‘notice seeking possession’ asking you to leave your home.

It must give you 2 months’ notice.

If you're an introductory or demoted council tenant

Your landlord must give you notice in writing.

Your council must tell you:

  • why they’re asking you to leave
  • the date after which they can start the court process - they’ll usually give you 28 days’ notice if you pay rent weekly and one month’s notice if you pay monthly
  • that you can ask for a review and the deadline for asking for a review
  • that they will ask the court to issue a ‘possession order’ which asks you to leave your home - find out more about possession orders
  • that you can get help from Citizens Advice, a housing aid centre, law centre or solicitor

Find out more about the review process.

If you're an assured tenant

The housing association must give you notice in writing - it’s called a section 8 notice or a ‘notice seeking possession’.

It must say:

  • why they’re asking you to leave - this includes the reasons and an explanation of why
  • the date after which they can start the court process - this can be immediately or up to 1 month, depending on why you’re being evicted
  • be in the correct form - check form 3 on GOV.UK

Check why you can be evicted with a section 8 notice.

You should always mention if there are mistakes in your notice. In some cases, the court might decide that the case can go ahead anyway.

If you're a starter or assured shorthold tenant

Your landlord must give you notice in writing - this is usually a ‘section 21’ notice. They could give you a ‘section 8’ notice instead - this will need to include different things.

If you’ve had a fixed-term tenancy lasting more than 2 years and your landlord isn’t renewing it, they must give you at least 6 months’ written notice. This is called a ‘notice of non-renewal’. It must say that they won’t extend your tenancy and let you know where you can get help and advice.

If your tenancy started before 1 October 2015

The notice must:

  • be in writing
  • say it’s made under ‘section 21’ of the Housing Act 1988
  • give you 2 months’ notice

Your notice must end on the last day of your tenancy period if you have a ‘contractual periodic tenancy’. This means your tenancy has been rolling from the beginning.

For example, if your tenancy runs to the 23rd of the month, your section 21 notice must end on the 23rd.

If your tenancy started on or after 1 October 2015

The notice must be in writing - check the form they must use on GOV.UK. 

You must get 2 months’ notice. Your landlord must start the court process within 6 months.

They can’t usually give you a section 21 notice in the first 4 months of your tenancy.

Your section 21 notice won’t be valid if you didn’t receive an energy performance certificate before you got the notice. If your home uses gas, they must also send you a gas safety record.

Check what your section 21 notice should include.

If you’ve got a section 21 notice, your landlord might be able to evict you without a court hearing - this is called ‘accelerated possession’.

They need to apply to the court to do this - you’ll receive a copy of their application if they do. You’ll also receive a defence form - you can use this to challenge the eviction

If you got a section 8 notice

The housing association must give you notice in writing - it’s called a section 8 notice or a ‘notice seeking possession’.

It must say:

  • why they’re asking you to leave - this includes the reasons and an explanation of why

  • the date after which they can start the court process - this can be immediately or up to 1 month, depending on why you’re being evicted

  • be written on the correct form - check form 3 on GOV.UK

Check why you can be evicted with a section 8 notice.

You should always mention if there are mistakes in your notice. In some cases, the court might decide that the case can go ahead anyway.

If you're a demoted housing association tenant

Your landlord must give you notice in writing - this is called a section 21 notice. Check the form they must use on GOV.UK.

Your section 21 notice won’t be valid if you didn’t receive an energy performance certificate before you got the notice. If your home uses gas, they must also send you a gas safety record.

Check what your section 21 notice should include.

If you’ve got a section 21 notice, your landlord might be able to evict you without a court hearing - this is called ‘accelerated possession’.

They need to apply to the court to do this - you’ll receive a copy of their application if they do. You’ll also receive a defence form - you can use this to challenge the eviction

If your notice isn't valid

Your landlord will usually have to give you a new, valid notice if they still want you to leave your home. This will mean you have more time in your home. If you’re being evicted for a specific reason, it’s worth using the extra time to sort out the problem.

In some circumstances, the court might go ahead with the case even if the notice isn’t valid.

If your notice isn’t valid, you don’t usually have to do anything. Your landlord will have to start the court process if you haven’t left your home by the date on your notice.

You’ll receive court papers and a defence form which you can use to challenge the eviction. Explain on the form that the notice isn’t valid and why. Get help filling in the defence form.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you don’t think your notice is valid. They might be able to help you challenge the eviction.

If your notice is valid

Your landlord can’t usually make you leave your home until they’ve gone to court to get a possession order and a warrant for eviction. It’s important that you keep paying your rent.

If they’ve applied to the court for ‘accelerated possession’, there won’t usually be a court hearing - unless you fill in a defence form and challenge the eviction. You’ll have received a copy of your landlord’s application if they applied for accelerated possession. Your landlord can only do this if they’ve sent you a section 21 notice.

You can challenge your eviction by filling in a defence form - you’ll get this with your court papers once the date on your notice has passed. Get help filling in a defence form.

If it goes to court, the court could also order you to pay your landlord's court fees if you're evicted - these can be expensive.

If you decide to leave your home before the date on your notice

Don’t leave your home before the date on your notice if you haven’t found somewhere else to live.

If you leave your home before the court makes a possession order, it might affect what help your local council can offer you. Find out more about possession orders.

Your council might have a legal duty to help find you accommodation. Check if you can apply for homeless help.

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