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Landlord ends an assured shorthold tenancy

In order to regain possession of a property let on an assured shorthold tenancy, a landlord must obtain a court order. 

This content applies to England

Notices to end assured shorthold tenancy

To begin the process for evicting an assured tenant the landlord must first service a notice. The tenant does not have to leave their property when the notice period expires. The landlord must apply to court for a possession order to force them to leave.

Notice of seeking possession

As with other assured tenancies the landlord can serve a notice of seeking possession, specifying the ground(s) on which possession is being sought.

Section 21 notice

A landlord can obtain possession under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, without having to prove any grounds for possession.

Social landlords with assured shorthold tenants should follow the Pre-action Protocol for Possession Cases by Social Landlords before pursuing possession proceedings.

Rent repayment after expiry of section 21 notice - only applicable to tenancies started on or after 1 October 2015

An assured shorthold tenant is entitled to a rent repayment from the landlord where:[1]

  • the tenancy was brought to an end following the service of a section 21 notice

  • they paid rent in advance, and;

  • the period of the tenancy for which rent was paid had not expired

The formula for calculating the repayment is R × D ÷ P, where:

  • R is the rent paid for the final period

  • D is the number of whole days of the final period for which the tenant was not in occupation of the dwelling-house

  • P is the number of whole days in that period

When a tenancy ceases to be assured

An assured shorthold tenancy may cease to be assured if the tenant ceases to occupy the property as their only or principal home. See Definition of an assured tenancy for more about the 'only and principal home' rule and its application.

If the tenancy terms are varied to a very high or a very low rent, the tenancy may be excluded from being assured.[2] This type of change in the rent may result in the tenant becoming a tenant with basic protection or an excluded occupier.

For social housing tenancies, subletting in breach of an express or implied term of the tenancy is an offence. See Social housing fraud for more information about criminal and civil consequences relating to the unauthorised subletting of social housing.[3]

No right to rent

Where the Home Office has served a disqualification from renting notice under section 33D(2) Immigration Act 2014 on the landlord naming all of the occupiers in premises held on an assured tenancy, the tenancy is converted into an excluded tenancy.[4] The landlord may serve no less than 28 days' notice in a prescribed form. 

Last updated: 15 March 2021


  • [1]

    s.21C Housing Act 1988 as inserted by s.40 Deregulation Act 2015; Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015; with effect from 1 October 2018, see also s.41(3) Deregulation Act 2015.

  • [2]

    paras 2, 2A, 3, 3A and 3B, Sch.1 Housing Act 1988.

  • [3]

    s.15A Housing Act 1988, as inserted by s.6 Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013; in England, in force with effect from 15 October 2013 under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 (Commencement) (England) Order 2013 SI 2013/2622.

  • [4]

    s.3A(7D) Protection from Eviction Act 1977 inserted by s.40(5) Immigration Act 2016.