Landlord's notice to end a demoted tenancy

The notice a landlord must serve on a demoted tenant before applying to court for a possession order.

This content applies to England

Covid-19: extended minimum notice period for demoted tenants

Normally, the notice period must be a minimum of 28 days or equivalent to the length of a period of the tenancy, whichever is longer.[1]

During the coronavirus pandemic the minimum notice periods have been extended.

Between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2021 demoted tenants are entitled to longer notices.

The minimum notice periods are:[2]

Four months for notices served between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021.

Six months for notices served between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021.

Three months for notices served between 26 March 2020 and 28 August 2020.

In certain circumstances, a landlord can serve a shorter notice:

Exceptions for rent arrears

Between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021, the minimum notice period is four weeks if:[3]

  • the landlord is seeking possession for rent arrears and

  • the level of arrears is equal or over four months’ worth of rent

From 1 August 2021 landlords can serve a two months’ notice for rent arrears of less than four months if this is the only reason for seeking possession.[4]

Exceptions for grounds relating to the tenant’s conduct

Between 29 August 2020 and 30 September 2021, the minimum notice period is four weeks if the landlord is seeking possession because of the tenant’s anti-social behaviour.[5]

Between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021, the minimum notice period is four weeks if the reason for seeking possession relates to the fact that the tenancy was granted as a result of a false statement (ground 5 for secure tenancies).[6]

Demoted tenants of local authority or housing action trust

A local authority (or housing action trust) landlord must serve a notice of proceedings for possession before applying to the court for a possession order.

There is no prescribed form, but the notice must:[7]

  • be in writing

  • state that the court will be asked to make a court order for possession of the property

  • outline the reasons for the landlord's decision to seek possession

  • specify the date after which possession proceedings may begin

  • inform the tenant of their right to a review of the landlord's decision and the time limit for requesting a review

Dispensation from requirement for notice

The court has no power to waive the requirement for a notice seeking possession or compliance with the above requirements in the case of a defective notice.

Right of review

A demoted tenant of a local authority or housing action trust has a statutory right to a review of the landlord's decision to repossess. The review procedure for demoted tenancies is set out in the Housing Act 1996, as amended by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, and the supplementary regulations.[8]

The tenant has 14 days from the date on which the notice was served to request a review. They can request an oral hearing or submit a written representation (which must arrive at least two days before the review date).

The landlord must inform the tenant of the date of the review, and the time and place if the tenant has requested an oral hearing, at least five clear days before the review date.

The review must be carried out by someone who was not involved in the original decision to seek possession.

The landlord must notify the tenant of its review decision before the notice seeking possession expires (although it can specify a longer period in the notice).

Demoted tenants of PRPSHs

Before a private registered provider of social housing (PRPSH) landlord can commence possession proceedings, it must serve the tenant with a valid notice, either under section 8 or section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. It is most likely to be under section 21.

PRPSH demoted tenants have no statutory right to a review of the landlord's decision to repossess.

Rent arrears and debt respite breathing space

Landlords and lenders are prohibited from giving a notice and issuing a claim for possession or from applying for a warrant of eviction on the basis of rent arrears, during a breathing space moratorium. For more details, see Breathing space debt moratorium and possession proceedings.

Last updated: 1 June 2021

Footnotes

  • [1]

    s.143E Housing Act 1996.

  • [2]

    Para 9 Sch 29 Coronavirus Act 2020, as amended by reg 3(9) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 SI 2020/914 and reg 2(10) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564; para 1(1)(b)(i) Sch 29 Coronavirus Act 2020 as amended by 3(2)(i) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 SI 2020/914, reg 2(2) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/284 and reg 2(2) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564; reg 3 The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564.

  • [3]

    reg 2(10)(c) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564.

  • [4]

    reg 2(10)(c) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564.

  • [5]

    reg 3(9)(c) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 SI 2020/914; para 1(1)(b)(i) Sch 29 Coronavirus Act 2020 as amended by 3(2)(i) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 SI 2020/914, reg 2(2) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/284 and reg 2(2) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564.

  • [6]

    Reg 2(10)(b) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564; reg 2(2) The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564.

  • [7]

    s.143E(3) Housing Act 1996.

  • [8]

    s.143F Housing Act 1996; Demoted Tenancies (Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2004 SI 2004/1697.