Eviction notices from private landlords

Coronavirus update

The courts are dealing with evictions again.

Your landlord must still apply for an order to evict you. There is a backlog of cases and the eviction process takes time.

When written notice is needed

Your landlord should usually give you notice in writing. This applies even if you don't have a written tenancy agreement.

How much notice you get depends on the:

  • type of tenancy 
  • reasons your landlord wants you to leave

Use our tenancy checker if you're not sure what type of tenancy you have.


Your landlord still normally needs to give you notice if you live with them. This doesn't have to be in writing unless your agreement says so.  

They should give you reasonable notice to leave. As you are an excluded occupier your landlord won't need a court order to evict you.

Section 21 notices

A section 21 notice is the most common way for a landlord to end an assured shorthold tenancy. Most private renters have assured shorthold tenancies. 

Your landlord doesn't need to give a reason why they want you to leave if they use the section 21 eviction process.

How long your section 21 needs to be depends on when it was given. Notice periods have been temporarily extended because of coronavirus.

When you were given noticeMinimum notice period
On or after 29 August 20206 months
Between 26 March and 28 August 20203 months
Before 26 March 20202 months

Section 8 notices

A section 8 notice can be used by a private landlord who wants to evict an assured shorthold tenant or an assured tenant for a legal reason or 'ground'. 

Most section 8 notices given on or after 29 August need to give 6 months.

However, your landlord can give you a shorter notice in some circumstances. For example, they can give you:

  • 4 weeks’ notice if you’re in at least 6 months’ rent arrears
  • 2 weeks’ notice because of antisocial behaviour

Between 26 March and 28 August the notice period was 3 months.

Before 26 March it depended on the reason. Notices for rent arrears only needed to give 2 weeks.

Your landlord has to prove a legal reason for eviction in court and you may be able to stop a section 8 eviction

Notice to quit

Your landlord can give you notice to quit to end your tenancy if you are an occupier with basic protection.

This includes:

  • some property guardians
  • students in university owned halls of residence
  • if you live in the same house as your landlord but don't share living accommodation

They can do this if you have a periodic or rolling agreement.

A notice to quit must:

  • give you at least 4 weeks' notice
  • end on the first or last day of a rental period
  • contain certain legal information, including where to get advice

The new rules extending most notices to 6 months don't apply to occupiers with basic protection.

Once the notice has ended, your landlord needs to get a court order to evict you. 

Notices for regulated tenancies

From 29 August your landlord must give you at least 6 months notice before they can apply to court to end a regulated or protected tenancy.

However they can give you:

  • 4 weeks’ notice if you are in more than 6 months’ arrears
  • 4 weeks’ notice for antisocial behaviour.
  • 3 months’ notice if someone in your household has no right to rent

Between 26 March and 28 August they had to give you 3 months’ notice.

Before 26 March they could apply to court without giving notice first.

You have strong rights if you're a regulated or protected tenant. In most cases you can only be evicted if both:

Last updated 04 September 2020 | © Shelter

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