Student halls: rights and rules for eviction

Legal procedures your landlord must follow to evict you if you are an occupier with basic protection, such as a student in halls.

Legal status

You are probably an occupier with basic protection if you live in:

  • university halls of residence
  • the same building as your landlord but don't share living accommodation with them


Your landlord must follow certain legal procedures to give you notice and evict you. This applies even if you don't have a written tenancy agreement.

Ask the council for help if you're facing eviction

Notice for fixed-term agreements that have expired

Your landlord doesn't have to give you written notice to leave if you have a fixed-term agreement that has expired.

Your landlord must get a possession order from the court when they want to evict you. The court sends you a copy of the application for a possession order.

Notice for fixed-term agreements that haven't expired

Your landlord can't evict you if you have a fixed-term agreement that has not expired, unless there is a break clause in your tenancy agreement that allows this. 

Your landlord must give the amount of notice set out in your agreement and then get a possession order from the court.

Notice for periodic agreements

A periodic agreement means your tenancy runs from one rent period to the next, with no set date for ending.

Your landlord must give you a written notice to quit if you have a periodic agreement. They don't have to give a reason for wanting you to leave.

To be valid the notice from your landlord must:

  • end on a day that your rent is due
  • be for a minimum of 4 weeks or a month, depending on how often you pay your rent
  • contain certain legal information, including telling you that you should get advice if you're not sure of your rights

Court hearing

Once the notice ends or your fixed-term agreement has expired, your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order.

The court has no choice but to make a possession order if you were given valid notice or your agreement has expired.

The possession order will normally take effect in 14 days. The court can delay the order for a maximum of 6 weeks if there are exceptional circumstances.

You will probably have to pay some of your landlord's court costs if your landlord has to take you to court to force you to leave.


Your landlord can ask bailiffs to evict you if you still haven't left after a court order takes effect.

Find out what happens when bailiffs evict you.

Illegal eviction 

It's against the law for your landlord to try to evict you without getting a court order. There might be action you can take to stop your landlord doing this.

Still need help?

If you're facing eviction:

Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person

Last updated 18 Apr 2018 | © Shelter

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