Eviction notices from private landlords

A notice from your landlord is the first step your landlord can take to end your tenancy.

Eviction is a legal process that takes time. There are 3 stages for most private renters:

  1. notice

  2. court action

  3. eviction by bailiffs

If your landlord or agent does not follow the legal process it could be an illegal eviction.

You have fewer rights if you're a lodger who lives with your landlord.

Your landlord must give you a legal notice

The notice must meet conditions to count as a legal notice.

For example, it must:

  • give enough notice

  • be the right notice for your tenancy type

Most private renters have assured shorthold tenancies. Your landlord could give you a section 21 notice or a section 8 notice with this type of tenancy.

You're entitled to a legal notice in writing even if you do not have a written tenancy agreement.

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

Notice periods during coronavirus

Notice periods changed several times during coronavirus.

The rules changed again from 1 October 2021.

If you had a notice during the pandemic, use our coronavirus notice checker to:

  • check you were given the right amount of notice

  • find out if your landlord can still use the notice

  • get information on what happens next

Section 21 notices

A section 21 notice is the most common way to end an assured shorthold tenancy

Most private renters have assured shorthold tenancies.

A section 21 is sometimes called a 'no fault' notice because your landlord does not need to give a reason for the notice.

This table shows the minimum notice periods for section 21 notices during the pandemic.

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

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

Read our section 21 eviction guide to check if your notice is valid and find out about the process and timescales.

Section 8 notices

A section 8 notice can be used to evict an assured shorthold tenant or an assured tenant.

Your landlord needs a legal reason or 'ground' to use this type of notice and they have to prove the ground at a court hearing.

The most common reason for a private landlord to use a section 8 notice is rent arrears. 

Notice periods for rent arrears were extended temporarily during the pandemic but have now returned to a much shorter notice period.

From 1 October 2021 you could be given just 2 weeks' notice if you have rent arrears or are late with your rent.

Use our coronavirus notice checker if you received a section 8 notice before this date to check the rules in place when you got your notice.

You can also be given a section 8 notice for other reasons, for example, antisocial behaviour.

Your landlord can start court action when the notice period ends. The notice expires if your landlord does not start court action within a year of giving you the notice.

Find out more about the section 8 notice rules and eviction process

Notice to quit

A notice to quit is used to end some less common types of tenancy or occupancy agreement.

A notice to quit must:

  • give at least 4 weeks' notice

  • end on the first or last day of a tenancy period

  • contain certain legal information, including where to get advice

It can only be used to end a rolling agreement. For example, a monthly or weekly agreement.

Your landlord still has to apply to court if you don't leave by the end of the notice.

Landlords can only give you a notice to quit if you're an 'occupier with basic protection'.

The most common situations where you could be an occupier with basic protection are:

  • you're a property guardian

  • you're a student in halls of residence

  • your landlord lives in the same building but in a separate flat

  • you rent from your employer and you have to live there to do the job

Find out if you're an occupier with basic protection and how this affects your rights.

Notice for regulated or protected tenants

You have strong tenancy rights with this type of private tenancy.

You can only be evicted from your home if both:

  • your landlord has a legal reason

  • a court agrees that eviction is reasonable

Find out more about eviction of regulated tenants and where to get advice.

Last updated: 1 October 2021

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