I have been asked to move out

My tenancy is ending soon and hasn't been renewed/I have received a notice to quit/Section 21

Answer

If your tenancy ends without being renewed and the landlord takes no further action, you are under no obligation to leave and can stay put. Read more

On 18 March 2020, the Government promised "no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time."

If your landlord wants you to move out they must follow a strict legal process. They must first serve a valid notice. This may be a "no fault" Section 21 notice, which can be invalidated if your landlord:

  1. has not protected your deposit correctly
  2. has not licensed the property correctly
  3. has failed to fix dangerous disrepair in your home
  4. has taken an illegal fee from you, or
  5. has not provided you with a gas safety certificate, How to Rent Booklet and energy performance certificate 

A checklist for the validity of a Section 21 notice is available on the Nearly Legal website. We recommend seeking legal advice if you are facing eviction - we have a list of advice providers here. Your council may also be able to help.

If you were served a notice between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021, your landlord must give you 6 months to move, before applying for a possession order. But, if you were served an eviction notice from 1 June 2021, in most cases, this has been reduced to 4 months’ notice.

The exceptions to this are in cases of:

  • A breach of immigration rules, which is two weeks’ notic
  • ‘Serious arrears’ (this is classed as four months of rent owed), which is 4 weeks’ notice 
  • Antisocial behavior, which is immediate to 4 weeks’ notice
  • False statement, which is 2 to 4 weeks’ notice
  • The death of a tenant, which is is 2 months’ notice

From 1 August 2021, the notice period for cases where there are less than four months of unpaid rent, will further reduce to two months’ notice.

You are not required to leave at the end of the notice period. Your landlord must apply for a possession order through the courts if you stay put, and only court-appointed bailiffs can legally make you leave your home. However, if your landlord applies for a possession order you may be liable for their costs, so consider seeking expert advice. Notices expire after 6 months if your notice was issued on or before 28 August 2020,10 months if your notice was issued between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021, and 8 months if your notice was issued on or after 1 June 2021. 

Courts are processing eviction claims. Landlords seeking to pursue an eviction through the courts must provide information about how tenants have been affected by coronavirus and tenants have an opportunity to provide their own information on a defence form. Tenants facing "extreme hardship" may have proceedings postponed by up to six weeks. In addition, the Government is piloting a new mediation service as part of the possession process to help resolve disputes before a formal hearing takes place. Tenants who are interested in mediation can raise this when they receive free legal advice on the day of the Review. Otherwise there is no opportunity for tenants who have received a valid Section 21 notice to challenge an eviction. Further information is available here.

Bailiffs have been able to carry out all evictions since 1 June 2021. However, they must give you 2 weeks' notice of an eviction date.If you think your landlord is attempting an illegal eviction, Shelter has information about what you can do here.

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