Tenancy Answers - Being Evicted
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I am being evicted

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

You can be evicted from an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under either section 8 or section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act.
 

Section 8

Section 8 is used if you have broken any of the terms of your tenancy agreement.  The notice period you are given can vary from nothing to 2 months depending on the reason - but for non payment of rent it is 14 days.
 
If you do not leave when the notice expires, your landlord will apply to the court for possession.  It will be approximately 6 weeks before the court hearing (which will be in your local county court) and, providing the application is successful the judge will give you a minimum of 14 days to leave.
 
If you ignore the court order, the landlord will have to employ court bailiffs to remove you.  This is likely to take a minimum of 2 weeks to organise - the bailiffs will advise you in advance when they are coming.
 
It is worth remembering that if you do not leave at the expiry of the initial 'section 8 notice', the tenancy agreement you signed may make you liable for the landlords court fees and bailiffs fees - together with considerable legal costs.
 

Section 21

 
Section 21 is a 'no-fault' eviction, and although the landlord is almost certain to gain possession, the criteria are much more robust.
 
There are 2 types of section 21 notice:
  • Section 21(1)(b) which is served during the fixed term of the tenancy - this requires a minimum of 2 months notice
  • Section 21(4)(a) is served after the end of the fixed term.  This requires a minimum of 2 months notice, and the expiry date must be the last day of a tenancy period.  On a monthly tenancy, this will be the same day of the month as your fixed term ended.
If you have paid a tenancy deposit the s21 will only be valid if your deposit was protected in one of 3 government approved schemes within 30 days of payment or before 5th May 2012 (whichever is later).  If this was not done, a valid s21 can not be served unless the deposit is returned to you first.
 
If you paid a deposit, you should have been provided with information about recovering your deposit, together with the schemes terms and conditions.  This is called 'prescribed information'.  The landlord should give you this within 30 days of receipt of the deposit, but in any case can not serve a valid s21 before such information is provided.
 
If your tenancy is for a room in (or property that is) a Home in Multiple Occupation, and that HMO requires licensing by the local authority, a s21 will not be valid unless the property is licensed.
 
If you do not leave when the notice expires, your landlord will apply to the court for possession. It will be approximately 6 weeks before a decision is made (there is not normally a court hearing) and the judge will give you a minimum of 14 days to leave.

If you ignore the court order, the landlord will have to employ court bailiffs to remove you. This is likely to take a minimum of 2 weeks to organise - the bailiffs will advise you in advance when they are coming.

It is worth remembering that if you do not leave at the expiry of the initial 'section 21 notice' if it is valid,
  1. Your tenancy agreement may make you liable for the landlords court fees and bailiffs fees - together with considerable legal costs
  2. The landlord may be able to charge (and enforce) double rent on the overstay under section 1 of the 1730 Landlord & Tenant Act.

Notice Given By Tenant

If you give notice to the landlord, and you then decide not to leave, your landlord may apply to the court for possession without recourse to the 1988 Housing Act.  It should be noted that under these situations, the landlord may be able to charge (and enforce) double rent on the overstay under section 18 of the 1737 Distress for Rent Act.

Illegal Eviction

If you are involuntarily evicted by any other method - including the use of force after the landlord has obtained a possession order - it is likely to be illegal eviction. 
 

Non-AST Tenancies

If your rent is over £100,000 per year, you do not have the protection of the 1988 Housing Act - but you are still protected by the Protection From Eviction Act 1977.  The terms under which your tenancy can be ended will be shown in your contract, and the landlord will require a court order in order to enforce this.  It is worth remembering that if you do not leave at the expiry of the notice period, the tenancy agreement you signed may make you liable for the landlords court fees and bailiffs fees - together with considerable legal costs.
 

Lodgers

If you live in the same property as your landlord, you do not have the protection of the 1988 Housing Act - but you are still protected by the Protection From Eviction Act 1977.  You must be given 'reasonable notice' which is usually equal to the rent payment frequency.  Other than this, you have no rights, although if you have a contract that specifies more notice, then you can attempt to obtain damages through the courts after the event.  The landlord is entitled to change the locks and refuse you access if you do not comply with the notice given.