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If you've got an eviction notice

This advice applies to Wales

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.

Coronavirus - your landlord might have to give you more notice 

The government have temporarily changed the law around evictions. 

The length of notice your landlord has to give you depends on the type of tenancy you have and when they asked you to leave.  You should check if your landlord has given you the right amount of notice

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.

Coronavirus - your landlord might have to give you more notice 

The government have temporarily changed the law around evictions. 

The length of notice your landlord has to give you depends on the type of tenancy you have and when they asked you to leave.  You should check if your landlord has given you the right amount of notice

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.

Coronavirus - your landlord might have to give you more notice 

The government have temporarily changed the law around evictions. 

The length of notice your landlord has to give you depends on the type of tenancy you have and when they asked you to leave.  You should check if your landlord has given you the right amount of notice

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’.

Coronavirus - your landlord might have to give you more notice 

The government have temporarily changed the law around evictions. 

The length of notice your landlord has to give you depends on the type of tenancy you have and when they asked you to leave.  You should check if your landlord has given you the right amount of notice

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. It should also tell you how to challenge your landlord's decision not to renew the tenancy.

If you get a section 21 notice

Your landlord can only give you a section 21 notice if they’ve already given you a notice of non-renewal.

The section 21 notice must be in writing and you must get at least 2 months’ 

Coronavirus - your landlord might have to give you more notice 

The government have temporarily changed the law around evictions. 

The length of notice your landlord has to give you depends on the type of tenancy you have and when they asked you to leave.  You should check if your landlord has given you the right amount of notice.

Your landlord can’t evict you before the date your section 21 notice says you should move out. Your landlord will have to go to court if they want to evict you.

Check what your section 21 notice should include.

It's not valid unless the home is registered - the landlord must also be licensed or use a licensed agent to manage the home.

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

Your landlord can’t use an accelerated possession to evict you if you have:

  • a demoted assured shorthold tenancy
  • an assured shorthold tenancy that began before 28 February 1997
  • a verbal tenancy agreement - for example you’ve never had a written tenancy agreement

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.

Coronavirus - your landlord might have to give you more notice 

The government have temporarily changed the law around evictions. 

The length of notice your landlord has to give you depends on the type of tenancy you have and when they asked you to leave.  You should check if your landlord has given you the right amount of notice.

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.

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.

Your landlord will have to start the court process if you haven’t left your home by the date on your notice. You’ll get court papers and a defence form which you can use to challenge the eviction. Explain why the notice isn’t valid. Get help filling in the defence form.

Sometimes the court might go ahead with the case even if the notice isn’t valid. This depends on the type of tenancy and the circumstances. If you think the notice isn’t valid you should contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help

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.

Coronavirus - if your landlord goes to court to evict you

Your landlord has to follow coronavirus guidelines and rules if they want to evict you – check if your landlord has followed the rules.

You should talk to an adviser as soon as possible if:

  • you get letters or paperwork from the court
  • bailiffs try to evict you

If your landlord started court action against you before 3 August 2020, they have to send you a letter before they can continue with their court claim. This letter is called a ‘reactivation notice’ – you can check what to do if you get a reactivation notice

If your landlord started the claim after 3 August 2020, talk to an adviser.

If they’ve applied to the court for ‘accelerated possession’, there won’t usually be a court hearing - unless you challenge the eviction.

You’ll get court papers when your landlord applies to court. You can challenge your landlord’s eviction claim when you get the court papers.

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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