Reasons your landlord can evict you

Find out why your landlord can evict you.

When your landlord can evict you without a reason

Your private landlord can give you a section 21 notice if they want to end your assured shorthold tenancy.

This is sometimes known as a ‘no fault’ notice. Your landlord doesn't need to give a reason. 

Your landlord needs to give you at least 2 months’ notice. After 2 months they can apply to court for a possession order.

Some landlords will use section 21 if they want to move back into the property, because of rent arrears, or if they are unhappy about something the tenant has done.

Stopping a section 21 eviction

You may be able to persuade your landlord to allow you to stay. For example, if you can repay arrears.

You may be able to stop or delay eviction if the section 21 notice is not valid or your landlord hasn’t followed the rules.

Other evictions without a reason

Your landlord doesn’t need a reason to ask you to leave if you are:

Eviction for a reason

Your landlord will always need a legal reason or ‘ground’ to evict you if you have:

If you have an assured shorthold tenancy your landlord can also give you notice on grounds.

Some grounds are 'mandatory.' This means that the court must order you to leave if the landlord can prove the ground applies.

Other grounds are 'discretionary.' This means that even if the landlord can prove the ground, the court can still decide to let you stay.

The grounds your landlord can use depend on what type of tenancy you have. They normally include:

  • rent arrears
  • nuisance or antisocial behaviour
  • breach of tenancy agreement

Rent arrears

Your landlord can give you notice and apply to court if you are behind on the rent or have missed payments.

Try and deal with any rent arrears as early as you can.

If you have an assured or assured shorthold tenancy your landlord can use a mandatory ground if you are in more than:

  • 8 weeks' arrears if you pay weekly
  • 2 months' arrears if you pay monthly

Your landlord can’t use a mandatory ground if you are in less than 8 weeks' arrears, or if you have a secure or regulated tenancy.

Instead they can only use a discretionary ground. This means even if you are in arrears, the court will still have to decide whether it’s reasonable for you to lose your home.

Antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour can include when you or anyone living in or visiting the property has:

  • caused serious nuisance to your neighbours
  • used your home for illegal purposes, such as drug dealing

Usually your landlord will need to give you notice before applying to court. They may not need to give you notice if the antisocial behaviour is very serious.

Antisocial behaviour is normally a discretionary ground. The court may let you stay if you can show the antisocial behaviour has stopped, for example because the person causing it has left.

Councils and housing associations can use a mandatory ground for antisocial behaviour if you or someone living in or visiting your home has:

  • been convicted of a serious offence
  • breached a nuisance injunction or criminal behaviour order

Breach of tenancy

Your landlord can give you notice if you have breached a term of your tenancy. For example, if you:

  • damage the property
  • let out a room to someone when you weren’t allowed to

Your landlord will need to give you notice and apply to court.

The court may allow you to stay if you can show the problem has been dealt with.

If your landlord thinks you’ve moved out

Most tenancies require you to live in the property as your only or main home.

If you aren’t living there anymore, your landlord may be able to end the tenancy.

They will usually only need to give a month's notice. They would then normally need to apply to court to evict anyone living in the property.

You may be able to stay If you move back in before the end of your landlord’s notice.

Get advice

Get advice as soon as you can if you're facing eviction from your home.

You may qualify for legal aid (free advice or representation) if you're on a low income.

Call Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345 to see if you qualify

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone


Last updated 10 Jan 2020 | © Shelter

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