Eviction of demoted council tenants

If a council downgrades your tenancy to a demoted tenancy because of antisocial behaviour, it's easy for you to be evicted.

Get advice if you're facing eviction 

If you have a demoted tenancy and you're facing eviction, it's important to do everything you can to prevent your case going to court. 

The court will nearly always make an order for possession if the council has followed the correct process.

Get advice urgently if the council gives you a notice to leave your home.

Contact the Civil Legal Advice helpline on 0345 345 4 345. You may be able to get help from a legal aid lawyer if you claim certain benefits or have a low income.

Anyone can call Shelter's free national helpline on 0808 800 4444 .

For face to face help, use Shelter's directory to find a housing adviser at a Shelter advice service, Citizen's Advice or law centre.

Have the papers you received from the council with you when you speak to an adviser.

How the council can evict you 

To evict you from a demoted tenancy, the council must follow the correct procedure.

It must:

  1. give you the correct notice to leave
  2. inform you of your right to ask for a review and consider any request for a review
  3. apply to the court
  4. ask bailiffs to evict you

1. Notice to leave a demoted tenancy

The council must give you at least four weeks' written notice that it intends to go to court to evict you.

This notice must tell you:

  • why the council wants to evict you
  • that you have the right to request a review of the council's decision to evict you 

The reason the council gives could be, for example, that you have continued to play loud music late at night or you haven't paid the rent.

You do not have to leave when the notice period expires.

2. Review of the decision to go to court

You can ask the council to review its decision to evict you.

You must do this within 14 days from the date the notice was served. The date the notice is served is the day after it is posted or when it is given to you if it is delivered by hand.

This is your best opportunity to save your home. It's important to try to persuade the council not to go to court.

You can send in your arguments in writing, along with any evidence you want the council to see.

Or you can ask for a review hearing where you can make your case in person. If you do this, you can take a legal representative and call witnesses.

The council then looks again at whether to evict you. It must tell you in writing what it decides. If it decides to carry on and go to court, it must tell you the reasons why.

3. If the council applies to the court

To evict you the council must apply to the court for a possession order. It can do this after:

  • the notice period has expired
  • it has made its review decision, if you asked for a review

The court sends you the details of the address, time and date of a court hearing.

As long as the council gave you the correct notice and followed the correct procedure, the court must make a possession order.

Only in exceptional circumstances can the court decide not to make a possession order.

The possession order gives the time and date you have to move out of your accommodation. This will normally be in 14 days.

You can ask the court for more time before you have to leave. You can only be given up to six weeks, and then only if you would suffer exceptional hardship as a result.

4. Eviction by bailiffs

If the court makes a possession order and you don't leave, the council must apply to the court for a bailiffs warrant. Bailiffs can then be sent to evict you. 

Your only chance of stopping the bailiffs at this stage is to persuade the council to stop them.

For example, if the council wants to evict you because you owe rent you could contact the council with a realistic offer to clear the arrears and ask them to stop the bailiffs.

Get advice about making a proposal to the council.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local adviser.

You can continue to live in your home until the bailiffs come to evict you.


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