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 - a "no fault" Section 21 notice 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. did not provide you with a gas safety certificate, How to Rent Booklet and energy performance certificate at the start of your tenancy

Tenants Union UK have more information here.

On 25 March the Coronavirus Act extended the notice period for all evictions to three months. For notices served from 29 August the notice period in most cases (including Section 21) has been extended to six months (the exceptions are where the landlord has grounds based on anti-social behaviour, domestic violence or rent arrears of more than six months). That means you may still receive a notice to quit. The longer notice period will apply to notices served until 31 March 2021. 

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 and 10 months if your notice was issued on or after 29 August. We have a list of legal advice providers here.

Following suspension of all eviction cases on March 27, courts reopened on 21 September. 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. 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 are not able to carry out evictions until 21 February in most cases. In cases where a tenant has accrued more than 6 months of rent arrears, or in other cases such as antisocial behaviour or death of the tenant, landlords can apply for an exemption from this rule.

If you think your landlord is attempting an illegal evictionShelter has information about what you can do here

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