This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at

Notices: Occupiers with basic protection

This content applies to England

Notice requirements for occupiers with basic protection.

For further information about the procedure for getting possession of a property let to an occupier with basic protection see Ending a basic protection tenancy/licence.

exclamation Please, note that from 27 March 2020, all ongoing possession proceedings are suspended for 90 days. For more information about emergency measures introduced to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on tenants, visit the Protection for tenants page in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and housing section.

Periodic agreements

The landlord must serve a valid notice to quit (NTQ) on an occupier with basic protection who has a periodic agreement. The landlord cannot commence possession proceedings until the notice period has expired.

For information about the requirements for a valid NTQ see Notices to quit: Landlords.

Fixed-term agreements

Landlords do not need to serve an NTQ on an occupier with basic protection who has a fixed-term agreement once the fixed term expires. The landlord can commence possession proceedings on the expiry of the term.

Break clause

The landlord can only serve a notice to end the agreement during the fixed term if there is a break clause in the agreement. When there is a break clause, the landlord can commence possession proceedings after giving the notice as set out in that clause.

A break clause allowing the landlord to terminate the agreement before the end of the fixed term should also include the option for the tenant to end the agreement early as well, and the notice that the landlord is required to give should not be less than that which the tenant must give.[1] A break clause that gives more rights to the landlord than to the tenant could be an unfair term under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.[2] For more information see Break clauses.

Forfeiture clause

An alternative to using a break clause is for a landlord to use a 'forfeiture and re-entry clause'. These clauses also allow landlords to terminate a fixed term early on breach of a term of the tenancy and that term is mentioned in the forfeiture clause. See the page Repossession of leasehold property for more information on forfeiture clauses.


The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] para 3.65 Unfair terms in tenancy agreements: OFT356, CMA (previously OFT, September 2005.

[2] Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 SI 1999/2083.

Back to top