Staying after a section 21 notice

Find out what happens if you need to stay past the date a section 21 notice ends.

Rights while you stay

It's legal for you to stay past the end of a section 21 notice period. You can stay until you are evicted by court bailiffs or leave at any point before this happens.

Tenancy rights

Your tenancy rights continue until you leave or are legally evicted. You continue to have all the rights of an assured shorthold tenant.

This means you can ask for repairs to be done and must allow your landlord reasonable access to your home to do repairs. You don't have to allow access for other reasons such as viewings for the sale of the property, unless your tenancy agreement states that you have to.

Rent

You have to continue to pay the rent if you stay during the eviction process. If you leave on or before the date a section 21 notice period ends, you have to pay the rent until the date set out in the notice.

If you stay longer, you have to pay the rent until the day you leave, so long as you have told your landlord in writing that you are leaving.

Applying as homeless

You can apply to a local council for help if you will be homeless when the section 21 notice ends. Apply up to 28 days before the notice ends.

The council may ask you to stay until the court makes an order for possession or even until you are evicted by bailiffs. If you leave too soon, the council can decide to refuse you help with longer-term housing.

Asking for extra time

It's worth talking to your landlord if you need to stay past the date on your section 21 notice.

Your landlord may prefer not to pay the fees to start court action, even though they can usually recover the cost from you later.

Your landlord may agree not to apply to the court if, for example, you have a start date for a new tenancy.

After court action starts

You will get more time to stay in your home if you wait for your landlord to start court action, but you may have to pay your landlord's court costs.

Your landlord has to pay fees to start possession proceedings. If you don't defend the court case, your landlord can recover these costs from you and could deduct the fees from your tenancy deposit.

In 2017 you would have had to pay:

  • about £555 for an accelerated possessions case without a hearing
  • about £600 for a standard possessions case with a hearing

If you ask the court for more time

It doesn't cost extra if you ask the court for extra time to stay. The court usually orders you to leave in 2 weeks, but can extend this to a maximum of 6 weeks.

If you defend the case

You can defend an eviction court case if your landlord has used an invalid section 21 notice. If you lose the case, you'll pay higher court fees and legal costs.

When the bailiffs come

You have to leave when the bailiffs come to evict you. It's not legal for you to stay after this.

You will have to pay the cost of the bailiffs visit. Your landlord can deduct this from your tenancy deposit.

You have to pay the rent until the date the bailiffs come.

When you leave

Contact your landlord when you have a date to leave.

Your landlord will need to:


Last updated 06 Feb 2018 | © Shelter

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