This section looks into three different aspects of ending an assured shorthold tenancy from the perspective of a tenant in England or Wales:
- If you’re facing eviction (with grounds for eviction)
- If your landlord wants to end the tenancy (no-fault eviction)
- If you want to give notice to end your tenancy
1) If you’re facing eviction (with grounds for eviction)
If you’ve received an eviction notice (section 8 notice) from your landlord or letting agent, the first thing you should do is determine whether or not the grounds for eviction are valid. Seek professional advice if necessary.
The only way you can be evicted by a Section 8 eviction notice is if you have breached one of the grounds for eviction, such as falling behind on rent, or illegally sub-letting the property (assuming sub-letting is not permitted as per the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement).
For more information, you can read my blog post that takes a look at the question, can my landlord evict me?
Valid grounds for Eviction
If you’re sure that your landlord does have valid grounds for eviction, you should vacate the premises by the date specified in the Section 8 notice. The notice period you’re entitled to will depend on the grounds you’re being evicted on (more information available here). If you refuse to vacate, your landlord can take you to court to seek High court enforcement.
Invalid grounds for Eviction
If your landlord does not have valid grounds to evict you specified in the Section 8 notice, you should seek legal advice.
2) If your landlord wants to end the tenancy (no-fault eviction)
If you have received a Section 21 notice, your landlord is informing you that he/she does not wish to continue the tenancy at the end of the fixed term or periodic term. A Section 21 CANNOT be used to terminate a tenancy in the middle of a fixed term tenancy!
Your landlord is will with in their rights to do this as long as the Section 21 notice is served properly.
In most cases, your landlord is required to provide you with a minimum of two months notice.
3) If you want to give notice to end your tenancy
There’s typically three common scenarios when a tenant is looking to serve notice to their landlord/agent:
- When a tenant wants to move out during the fixed term of the tenancy
- When a tenant wants to move out at the end of the fixed term of the tenancy
- When a tenant wants to move out during a periodic tenancy
I cover all options in detail in this guide on how and when tenants should tell their landlord they want to move out.
Legal Support & Professional Advice
Ending a tenancy, depending on the circumstances, can often be a highly confusing, complicated and volatile situation! So if you’re after some advice, I recommend contacting either Citizens Advice or Shelter:
- Citizens Advice – free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.
- Shelter – housing and homelessness charity who offer advice and support.