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Eviction of assured shorthold tenants

Most private renters have an assured shorthold tenancy (AST).

Check if you have an AST.

How you can be evicted

Your landlord must give you a legal notice as a first step towards ending your tenancy.

Assured shorthold tenants must be given either:

  • a section 21 notice

  • a section 8 notice

Your landlord might give both types of eviction notice at the same time.

Use our notice periods checker to find out how much notice your landlord has to give you.

When the notice period ends your landlord can apply to court for an eviction order.

It's an illegal eviction if your landlord or agent tries to evict you without notice or a court order. Only bailiffs can carry out an eviction.

Section 21 notice

A section 21 notice is the most common way for your landlord to start the eviction process.

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

You do not have to leave when the notice ends unless you're ready to do so. 

Your landlord can start court action after the notice period has ended. They have 4 months to do this. If they do not apply to court within this time the notice will expire and cannot be used.

Your tenancy rights and responsibilities continue if you stay past the date on a section 21.

Keep paying your rent and only agree a move out date if you've found somewhere else to live. For example, if you sign a tenancy agreement for a new home.

Section 8 notice

Your landlord can only give you a section 8 notice if they have a legal reason or 'ground'. They must prove the ground at a court hearing.

Most section 8 notices are for rent arrears.

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 will expire if your landlord does not start court action within a year of giving you the notice.

If you want to end your tenancy

You may need to take steps to end your tenancy legally even if you're willing to move out.

Communicate in writing or by email. Be clear about when you want the tenancy to end.

You're responsible for rent until the tenancy ends, even if you move out earlier. Your landlord should be flexible if they want you to leave without the need for court action.

Giving notice to your landlord

If you cannot agree on a tenancy end date, you can usually end your tenancy by giving notice to your landlord.

Only give notice under a break clause or with a 'notice to quit' if you're sure you want to leave by the date in the notice.

Your landlord will not need a court order to end your tenancy if you give them a valid notice.

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Last updated: 25 October 2022

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