Skip to main content
Shelter Logo

Section 21 eviction

How to deal with your landlord

Many landlords assume their tenants will leave at the end of a section 21 notice.

Let your landlord or agent know if you will stay past the end of the notice to avoid any confusion.

Tell your landlord if you are getting help from the council and that you cannot move out until you have somewhere to go. Remind them that the notice does not end your tenancy.

Continue to pay rent and only agree a move out date if you find somewhere to live.

If your landlord pressures you to leave

Pressure to leave without following the legal eviction process is harassment.

Kicking you out or locking you out is an illegal eviction.

Harassment and illegal eviction are criminal offences.

Contact your council if your landlord or anyone acting on their behalf tries to force you out. The council must arrange emergency housing if you're unsafe or on the streets, and in priority need.

Signing documents with a date for you to leave

Do not sign documents that could end your right to stay in your home if you are not ready to move out.

Be careful when asked to sign anything that looks official or legal. Do not sign anything labelled 'deed of surrender' or 'express surrender' unless you are ready to give up your tenancy and leave without a court order.

If you do sign but decide to stay beyond the date on the document, your tenancy will not end unless you've given your landlord a valid notice or signed a legal deed of surrender.

A deed of surrender will only meet legal requirements if:

  • you and your landlord sign it

  • both signatures are witnessed

  • it makes it clear that it is a deed that ends your tenancy straight away

If your landlord offers you money to leave

Some landlords offer money to leave or say they will write off rent arrears if you agree to go.

This may feel tempting but it is only likely to be a good option if you have somewhere settled to move to. Only accept money to move out if it will help you get somewhere else to live.

Make sure you have the money or a written agreement to write off arrears before you hand your keys back.

Last updated: 28 November 2022

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help