Eviction notices from private landlords

Private tenants are usually entitled to written notice to leave their homes.

When written notice is needed

Most private tenants are entitled to written notice to leave. This applies even if you didn't sign a written tenancy agreement.

How much notice you get depends on the type of tenancy you have and the reason you are being evicted.

Ask the council for help if you're facing homelessness

Assured shorthold tenants

Most private tenants have an assured shorthold tenancy. There are two different eviction notices your landlord can serve when they want to end your tenancy.

Your landlord is allowed to give you both types of notice at the same time.

There are rules they must follow and your landlord must go to court to evict you lawfully.

Section 21

A section 21 notice is the most common way for landlords to end a tenancy. They do not have to give a reason for why they want you to leave.

Section 8

Your landlord must give a legal reason when they give you a section 8 notice. This could be because you have:

  • rent arrears 
  • broken the terms of your tenancy agreement


If you are a lodger (typically renting a room in your landlord's home),  your landlord only has to give you reasonable notice to leave when they want to evict you. This notice does not have to be in writing. 

You have to leave when the notice period ends. Your landlord does not need to go to court to evict you.

You have the eviction rights of an excluded occupier.

Assured tenants

If your private tenancy started between 1989 and 1997, you could be an assured tenant

Your landlord must usually give either 2 weeks’ or 2 months’ notice depending on the reason you are being evicted if you are an assured tenant.

Regulated tenants

If your private tenancy started before 1989, you are probably a regulated tenant.

Your landlord must usually give you a written 'notice to quit' that gives you at least 28 days notice.

They also need a legal reason to evict a regulated tenant.

Students in halls

If you are a student living in university halls of residence, you are considered an occupier with basic protection

The amount of notice you get depends on whether you have a fixed-term or periodic tenancy.

Fixed-term tenancy

If you have a fixed-term tenancy your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order straight after the fixed-term ends. Written notice isn't needed.

Periodic tenancy

If you have a periodic tenancy, for example month-to-month, your landlord must give you a written 'notice to quit'.

The notice must also:

  • end on the first or last day of a rental period
  • be for a minimum of 4 weeks or 1 month, depending on how often you pay your rent
  • contain certain legal information, such as telling you that you should get advice if you're not sure of your rights

Last updated 16 Feb 2018 | © Shelter

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