Eviction of assured shorthold tenants

Coronavirus update:

On 21st September courts start to deal with evictions again.

There is a backlog of cases and the eviction process takes time.

How you can be evicted

Your landlord must follow a legal process if they want to end your assured shorthold tenancy.

Most private renters are assured shorthold tenants.

There are 2 different eviction procedures your landlord can use.

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

A section 21 notice 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


You don't need to leave when this ends. Your landlord must go to court to evict you lawfully.

Your landlord must follow certain rules for the notice to be valid. You can challenge an invalid notice in court.

From 20 September the courts start to deal with evictions again, following a pause during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The court process takes time and may take longer than usual due to a backlog of cases. 

Ask your local council for help if you're facing eviction

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 you:

  • 4 weeks’ notice if you’re in at least 6 months’ rent arrears
  • 2 weeks’ notice because of antisocial behaviour

Between 26 March and 28 August the notice period was 3 months.

Before 26 March it depended on the reason. Notices for rent arrears only needed to give 2 weeks.

Your landlord must follow the legal process and apply to court for a possession order.

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 04 September 2020 | © Shelter

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