Can My Landlord Evict Me?


Eviction Notice

Before I dive into this topic, cock first, I think it’s important that I clarify the difference between being “evicted” and “being told to vacate at the end of a tenancy” because a lot of tenants (and even landlords) blatantly don’t know the difference. Granted, it can initially be a little tricky to understand.

Tenants being Evicted

A landlord can start the process of “eviction” at any point during a tenancy if they have the grounds to do so e.g. if the tenant falls 2 months into arrears.

If a landlord has grounds for eviction, they can serve the tenant with a Section 8 notice, which is an official eviction notice, which should state the ground(s) for eviction.

Depending on which grounds are being used, the notice will state a date of which the tenant should vacate the premises by.

A landlord has a dozen or so grounds for eviction, and assuming the grounds are valid, the landlord is with in his rights to evict the tenant.

So, if you’re a tenant being evicted, carefully read through the grounds to determine whether your landlord has a valid case. If he/she does, then the answer is obviously yes, your landlord can evict you!

Being told to vacate at the end of a tenancy

A landlord is fully entitled to serve a possession notice, known as a Section 21 form, to gain possession of their property at the end of a tenancy. This is NOT an “eviction” notice per’se (i.e. it doesn’t mean you have necessarily done anything wrong) – it’s the landlord essentially saying, “the tenancy has expired, I would now like you to vacate the property”

A landlord does not need any reason whatsoever to serve a section 21 notice. It’s what is known as a “no-fault” eviction/repossession.

The Section 21 can only be served 4 months after the beginning of a fixed-term tenancy for tenants in England or Wales, but the tenant is allowed to stay in the property until the specified end date (unless the landlord has grounds to evict). The tenant must also receive 2 months notice!

For example, if a tenancy begins on the 1st January 2018 and is due to end on the 1st January 2019, the landlord should serve the Section 21 before 1st November (allowing 2 months notice) if the landlord wants the tenant to vacate on the 1st January 2019. If the notice is served after the 1st of November, then the tenant has a legal right to remain in the property until after the 1st of January 2019, as the tenancy will have automatically rolled into a periodic tenancy. Where the tenancy has become periodic, the notice given must expire on the last day of a rent period. For example, if a monthly periodic tenancy rent day is the 2nd of the month, the two month notice period must end on the 1st of the month in question.

Being told to leave during a periodic tenancy

A periodic tenancy automatically follows the fixed-term if the landlord and tenant do nothing (i.e. they do not sign another agreement) and the tenancy will be on the same terms and conditions as the original agreement. The period of the tenancy will be determined by the rent payment schedule. For example, if the rent was paid monthly, the tenancy will become a monthly periodic tenancy, or a weekly periodic tenancy if the rent was paid weekly.

If a tenancy has officially rolled into a periodic tenancy, then a landlord can serve a Section 21 notice at any point, informing the tenant to leave in two months time (assuming rent is paid on a month-by-month basis). The notice given must also expire on the last day of a rent period. Again, this is NOT an “eviction” process- this is the landlord simply saying, “the tenancy has expired, I would now like you to vacate the property”

Can my landlord evict me for complaining?

I received the email below a few weeks ago, and it’s quite a good example of a real life case.

We reported our landlord for not using Gas Safe Registered Contractor for fitting in new boiler, he has admitted to GAS SAFE that this is correct, and matter is being investigated. Landlord has now given us notice to quit, do we have any rights regarding this

If you look through the list of grounds for eviction, there is nothing in there which states a landlord has the right to evict their tenant for reporting a landlord for neglecting their legal responsibilities (go figure). So a landlord cannot serve a valid Section 8 notice (“notice to quit”) based on the scenario above.

However, the landlord *may* have the legal right to serve a Section 21 notice, even if the tenant did nothing wrong besides from rub the landlord the wrong way (not in the good way), but it depends on whether the tenant lodged an official complaint first (it actually sounds like she did in this case, so the landlord won’t be able to serve a section 21 either).

I’ve already covered this specific topic in quite a lot of detail, so I won’t go over it again. So if you’re a tenant that is facing a potential eviction after lodging a complaint about a matter of disrepair, you may wish to read my blog post on revenge evictions, because it may provide further insight on your rights.

Anyone have anything to add? Please share!

9 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Adam (OpenRent) 4th May, 2012 @ 11:05

Thanks for bringing some clarity / sanity to the issue!

As is often the way, it seems a lot of problems in this area arise due to an information imbalance.

Either a tenant is panicked as they aren't sure of their rights and the appropriate response when they are served a notice - or a landlord doesn't know how or when they are allowed/supposed to take action either when something goes wrong or at the end of a tenancy. This leaves them exposed to falling foul of some regulation or deadline, or in a worse case being taken advantage of by someone more savvy or knowledgeable on the other side.

(And yes, we are trying to help address some of these problems with OpenRent..!)

1
Guest Avatar
ramazama 6th May, 2012 @ 05:56

....... how long is a section 21 valid ,if the tenant dosnt leave , how long can the L.L. wait (after issue of the S 21), before activating the possesion order process ?

2
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stephanie 23rd March, 2014 @ 13:25

ok i came home to find a section 21 from my landlord just saying that he is kicking me out and wants me out by the 30th of may 2014 (2months). he has given me no reason why he is doing this. i moved in 6 months ago so the tenency agreement has just expired. i am on child tax credits, child benefits and income support at the moment. do i have to leave in 2 months or does he have to serve me with something else and give me a valid reason? i am up to date with my rent. i never paid him a deposit or anything. i just want to know my rights i really do not want to move again.

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Guest Avatar
mike 8th October, 2014 @ 10:31

Hi i am wondering what i can do with regards to my situation, here goes.

I have been renting for the last 25years and i have carryied out works to house. my landlord would like to sale the propety so he has suggested that i buy the property or move out. i dont have the money to buy it "1 million". but i have lived there a long time and i dont want to leave what can i do.

Regards

Mike Curran

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Guest Avatar
Anna-Mariea 12th July, 2015 @ 10:07

I moved into a shared house in may of this year and because of my depression I totally forgot about changing my address and I just let the days go by and now because the housing benefit is gonna take time he wants to kick us out but if he does that he won't get the 8 weeks back rent so everyone loses

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Guest Avatar
inez 12th May, 2016 @ 16:14

This has got to be the most lopsided law against renters I have ever heard. How can a landlord/agent hide behind "I don't have to give a reason" and serve a Section 21? We have been awesome tennants for three years, enhancing the property and replacing toilets seats, bathroom essentials etc. The neighbours have said that we are the best tenants in 12 years this property has see. But because we got a bit iffy battling through a very cold winter with a badly faulty 15yr old boiler.....sometimes no heat....we get a section 21!!!! How can a landlord expect to have decent tenants when you treat them like fodder? And yes, a Section 21 may as well be Eviction because if you don't leave you WILL be EVICTED!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th May, 2016 @ 21:55

@inez
So to clarify, you believe the law would be less lopsided if landlords weren't allowed to repossess their own property (despite the reason for doing so)?

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Guest Avatar
Anthon 19th September, 2017 @ 22:39

Been asking tenants to leave for two years. They are very lazy, dirty, smelly people with pets not housetrained. Cannot bear to set foot in house or garden. My property is getting worse and they actually want me to evict them so as to bump up the social housing housing. ladder. Any advise.

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Guest Avatar
Rach 25th February, 2018 @ 07:41

My partner moved in about 3 1/2 years ago but worked away so only at home 2/3 nights a week. Suffered two heart attacks end of summer last year and only just back at work full time after Christmas. The tenancy is in my name and rent has never been late and the house is well looked after. I asked to now add him to the tenancy, 150 and they do credit check etc except his address for last 3 years is this one. Would my landlord evict me for breaching my agreement and not asking permission before he moved in? Even though it was his address he worked away a lot?

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