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.
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 states the ground(s) for eviction.
A landlord has a dozen grounds for eviction, and if he can prove his case, then he is perfectly 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- 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 this notice.
The Section 21 can be served at any point after a tenancy begins, but the tenant is allowed to stay in the property until the end date (unless the landlord has grounds to evict) and is also required to have 2 months notice before they have to vacate. For example, if a tenancy begins on the 1st January 2012 and is due to end on the 1st January 2013, 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 2013. 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 2013, 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?
I received the email below a few weeks ago, and it’s quite a good example to help explain the situation with a real life scenario.
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 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 (evict the tenant) based on the scenario above. However, the landlord has 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 a good way) by doing the right thing! In that case, the tenant may have to vacate the property at the end of the tenancy or periodic tenancy (assuming the notice is served correctly).
On that note, I’m done! Final words of wisdom, check you’re actually being “evicted” before you go around saying you’re being evicted! No one likes a bull-shitting drama-queen, innit. I think there’s a genuine issue where a lot of tenants believe they’re being “evicted” when they’re actually not.
Anyone have anything to add? Say what ya’ gotta say, my sisters!
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be contrued as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.