Eviction of assured shorthold tenants

No evictions by bailiffs will take place between 17 November and 11 January except in very limited circumstances.

Evictions can go ahead where the court has made an order because:

  • there was antisocial behaviour
  • you owed more than 9 months' rent before 23 March 2020

The courts will continue to process cases during lockdown. You still need to read any letters from the court and attend the hearing if there is one.

How you can be evicted

Most private renters are assured shorthold tenants.

There are 2 different eviction procedures your landlord can use to end an assured shorthold tenancy.

These start with giving you either a:

  • section 21 notice
  • section 8 notice

Your landlord can issue both types of eviction notice at the same time.

If your landlord tries to evict you themselves without going to court, this will be an illegal eviction.

Keep paying your rent through the eviction process. You have the same rights and responsibilities as usual.

Section 21 notice

This is the most common way for your landlord to start the eviction process. Your landlord doesn’t need to give a reason to end your tenancy with this notice.

How long your section 21 notice needs to be depends on when it was given. Notice periods have been temporarily extended because of coronavirus.

When you were given noticeMinimum notice period
On or after 29 August 20206 months
Between 26 March and 28 August 20203 months
Before 26 March 20202 months

When the notice period ends 

You don't have to leave unless you're ready to do so. 

Your landlord can apply to court if they still want you to leave.

The eviction process may take longer than usual due to a backlog of cases.

Find out more about the section 21 eviction process

Section 8 notice

Your landlord can give you a section 8 notice if they have a legal reason or 'ground' to end your tenancy. For example, rent arrears.

Most section 8 notices given on or after 29 August need to give 6 months.

However, your landlord can give you a shorter notice in some circumstances. For example, they can give:

  • 4 weeks’ notice if you’re in at least 6 months’ rent arrears
  • little or no notice in antisocial behaviour cases

Your landlord can apply to court once the notice period ends.

What to do if your landlord gives you a section 8 or starts court action.

If you want to end your tenancy

If you want to leave your home at any stage during the eviction process, you must still end your tenancy correctly.

Different rules apply if you have a:

Last updated 18 November 2020 | © Shelter

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