Section 21 eviction

Section 21 eviction process

Coronavirus update

Evictions are paused during the coronavirus outbreak.

From 24 August 2020 the courts start to deal with evictions again.

Your landlord must follow eviction rules. This page tells you about the process. 

It's an illegal eviction if you're forced to leave without the legal process being followed.

Your tenancy rights and responsibilities continue throughout the legal eviction process. You should continue to pay rent during this time.

1. Notice

The section 21 notice must be on Form 6A.

The notice period is at least:

  • 3 months - if you were given notice on or after 26 March 2020
  • 2 months - if you were given notice before this date

The longer notice period is a new rule because of the coronavirus outbreak and will apply until at least September.

Your landlord does not need to give a reason for wanting you to leave.

But they must follow certain rules. They might not be able to give you a section 21 notice if, for example:

  • your deposit is not protected
  • you don't have a gas safety certificate
  • you live an unlicensed HMO
  • the council has given your landlord an improvement notice or emergency works notice because of poor conditions in the property  

Check if your section 21 notice is valid.

2. Court action

Your landlord can apply for a possession order if you stay past the date on the notice. They have 6 months from when they gave you the notice to apply. 

After this the notice will stop being valid and your landlord will have to give you a new notice before they can apply to court.

You may qualify for free legal advice if your landlord starts court action.

Your landlord may have applied for a possession order during the pause on evictions. The courts have a backlog of cases and will write to you about your case.

The court can only stop an eviction if there's a problem with the section 21 notice.

Find out about the court process.

3. Bailiffs

Only court bailiffs can evict you from your home. 

Your landlord can apply for bailiffs if you stay in your home past the date on a possession order. They might use either:

  • county court bailiffs
  • high court enforcement officers.

The bailiffs must give you at least 2 weeks' notice of the eviction date.

Get urgent legal advice if you were due to be evicted or your landlord got a possession order before the coronavirus outbreak.

You can't be evicted before 24 August.

Last updated 05 August 2020 | © Shelter

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