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When can a housing association evict you?

A housing association can only evict you if they have a legal reason. These reasons are called 'grounds for possession'.

Your housing association needs to show prove their reason for eviction in court.

Sometimes the court has to make a possession order if the housing association can prove their reason. Sometimes the court can decide if you should be evicted.

It depends on the reason for eviction and the ground for possession that your landlord uses.

You lose a lifetime home if you get evicted from an assured tenancy.

Get free legal advice if you get a notice to leave.

There are steps you can take to stay in your home.

Rent arrears

Not paying the rent is the main reason for eviction from a housing association tenancy.

The housing association can try to evict you if you:

  • owe them lots of money

  • regularly do not pay rent and service charges on time

But they should take steps to sort things out with you before they go to court.

They should:

  • write to you about your arrears

  • try to agree a plan for you to pay the money back

  • help you apply for benefits or discretionary housing payments

  • offer other support if you need it

Find out how to deal with rent arrears.

The court could let you stay if you:

  • pay back the money you owe before your court hearing

  • agree to pay back the money over time

Make sure you follow the court's instructions. You could be evicted if you do not.

Find out what do if you get a notice or court papers about rent arrears.

Antisocial behaviour

The housing association can try to evict you if you, a visitor or family member:

  • harass housing association staff

  • cause a nuisance in your neighbourhood

  • have used your home for illegal activities such as drug dealing

  • are violent towards your spouse or partner and they leave home as a result

The court can sometimes let you stay in your home if you can show that the behaviour has stopped and will not happen again.

Find out more about eviction for antisocial behaviour.

The court cannot usually stop an eviction for criminal behaviour.

For example, if you, a visitor or family member have:

  • breached a court order for serious noise nuisance

  • breached a criminal behaviour order

  • been convicted for a serious offence

The housing association must write to you and tell you that you can ask for a review of the decision before they use this reason in court.

Get free legal help.

Breaking your tenancy agreement

The housing association can take you to court if you break a term in your tenancy agreement.

For example, if you:

  • pay your rent late

  • keep certain pets

  • give access for repairs

Check your tenancy agreement to see your rights and responsibilities.

The court can let you stay in your home even you break your tenancy agreement.

Make sure you do what the court says. For example, let people into your home if they need to do repairs. You could be evicted if you do not.

Inheriting the tenancy

You can inherit an assured tenancy either:

  • under your partner or relative's will

  • because you were their next of kin and there was no will

The housing association:

  • can use ground 7 as a reason for eviction

  • must give you 2 months' notice

  • must usually start court within 1 year of the tenant's death.

If they do not start court action during this time, you can stay on as an assured tenant.

This ground cannot be used if you inherited the tenancy because you had succession rights.

Not telling the truth on your application

The housing association can evict you if you said something that was not true when you joined the housing register.

For example, if you:

  • said you were homeless when had somewhere to stay

  • did not say that you owned another property

Demolition or major works

The housing association can try to evict you if they:

  • plan to demolish or rebuild your home

  • need to do major repairs that cannot be done while you live there

The housing association must show the court that there is suitable council or housing association tenancy for you to move to. They must pay your reasonable removal costs.

You could get a home loss payment.

You do not live in your home

Your housing association can end your tenancy if you move out permanently.

They could send a notice to quit to the property and apply for a court order.

Let the housing association know if you have to stay somewhere else temporarily, for example because of work or a family emergency.

Last updated: 14 March 2024

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