Eviction of housing association starter tenants

A starter tenancy from a housing association usually lasts for 12 months.

You usually get a longer term tenancy when the trial period ends.

You can be evicted more easily during a starter tenancy. For example if you:

  • owe rent

  • have damaged your home

  • are involved in antisocial behaviour

Get legal advice if you're facing eviction from a starter tenancy.

Have your notice and any court paperwork with you when you speak to an adviser.

The section 21 eviction process

Your housing association doesn’t have to prove a legal reason to evict you during a starter tenancy. But they must follow the legal procedure outlined below.

They can only use this process if you received the following documents at the start of your tenancy:

  • energy performance certificate

  • current gas safety record (if you have a gas supply in your home)

1. Notice from the housing association

Your housing association must give you a section 21 notice on a special form. They cannot give this notice within the first 4 months of your tenancy.

Your housing association may offer a review of the decision to end your tenancy. This gives you the chance to say why you should be allowed to stay. For example, if you can sort out problems with rent arrears.

Notice periods have changed several times during coronavirus.

Date you were given noticeMinimum notice period
On or after 1 October 20212 months
Between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 20214 months
Between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 20216 months

2. The court process

Your housing association can start court action once the date in your notice has passed.

Your housing association has 4 months from the end date on the notice to start court action.

You will get paperwork from the court including a defence form which should be returned within 14 days.

With a section 21 eviction, the judge must make a possession order unless the housing association has not followed the right process or the section 21 notice is invalid.

Get legal help with the court process. An adviser can:

  • check your notice is valid

  • help with the defence form

  • negotiate with your housing association

3. Eviction after a possession order

The possession order gives a date for you to leave. This will usually be 2 weeks after the order is made but can be up to 6 weeks later if you would suffer exceptional hardship.

If you stay in your home after this date, the housing association can ask court bailiffs to carry out an eviction. The bailiffs must send you a notice 2 weeks before the eviction date.

It is not usually possible to ask the court to stop or delay an eviction at this stage.

Find out what happens on the eviction date.

The section 8 eviction process

Your housing association may follow a different process where they have to prove a legal reason for the eviction.

They will give you a different type of notice called a section 8 notice.

The court can sometimes delay or stop the eviction if this process is used.

Find out more about the eviction process if you get a section 8 notice.


Last updated: 30 September 2021

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