Eviction notices from private landlords

Find out the type of notice you should get from a private landlord and how much notice you're entitled to.

What a notice from your landlord means

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

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

Your landlord must give you written notice

This applies even if you don't have a written agreement.

The notice must meet certain 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.

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

How much notice

This depends on both the:

  • type of notice used

  • reasons your landlord wants you to go  

The notice rules have changed several times during coronavirus.

Section 21 notices

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

Your landlord does not need to give a reason to use it. It's sometimes called a 'no fault' notice.

How long the notice must be depends on when you got it.

The rules have changed several times during coronavirus.

When you were given noticeMinimum notice period
On or after 1 June 20214 months
Between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 20216 months
Between 26 March and 28 August 20203 months
Before 26 March 20202 months

For section 21 notices received on or after 29 August 2020, your landlord has 4 months from the end date on the notice to start court action.

Section 21 notices received before that date are no longer valid unless your landlord started court action within 6 months of giving you the notice.

Read our guide to section 21 eviction 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 for a legal reason or 'ground'.

Your landlord has to prove the ground at a court hearing if they use this type of notice.

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

Most section 8 notices given on or after 1 June 2021 must give at least 4 months.

But your landlord can give a much shorter notice in some situations.

For example:

  • 4 weeks' notice if you have at least 4 months' rent arrears

  • little or no notice in antisocial behaviour cases

Find out more about the section 8 eviction process

Notice to quit

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

You can be given a notice to quit if you're an occupier with basic protection.

This includes some:

  • property guardians

  • students in halls of residence

  • people who rent from an employer and have to live there to do the job

  • tenants who live in the same building as their landlord but don't share any living space

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

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.

Notice if you have a regulated or protected tenancy

You have strong rights if you have 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

From 1 June 2021 your landlord must usually give you at least 4 months' notice before they can apply to court. This is a temporary rule during the coronavirus pandemic.

You could be given a shorter 4 week notice if you have at least 4 months' rent arrears.

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

Last updated: 28 May 2021

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