Most landlords of private tenancies must give written notice if they want to end a tenancy. This notice period varies, depending on the type of tenancy you have. However, a landlord can apply to the court to end the tenancy at any time on certain “grounds” (ie reasons) for possession set out in legislation.
Possession will automatically be granted if the landlord gives certain reasons known as ‘mandatory grounds’.
Mandatory grounds include where:
- The tenant is at least two months or eight weeks behind with the rent; or
- The landlord used to live in the property (or they now need to) and they made the tenant aware of this at the beginning of the tenancy; or
- The property is going to be demolished or rebuilt; or
- The property is being repossessed by the mortgage lender.
Other grounds are ‘discretionary’. This means that the court will decide whether or not it is reasonable to grant possession.
The most common “discretionary grounds” are that:
- The tenant has missed less than two months or eight weeks behind in rent payments; or
- The property has been damaged or the contract agreement has been broken by the tenant, or someone who they are responsible for; or
- The tenant has been a nuisance to their neighbours; or
- The landlord can prove that the tenant has somewhere else to live; this could be another property from this landlord.
If you’re facing homelessness
If you don’t leave by the end of the notice period, the landlord can take you to county court and start ‘possession proceedings’. If you are likely to become homeless because of a result of this, you should seek advice before you leave. If you leave before the landlord gets a court order, you are less likely to get help with housing from the council.
If you’re being harassed
If your landlord does not give you written notice and is harassing you to leave, you may wish to read our Practical Guide to Harassment and Illegal Eviction, also available to download below. The law protects you against harassment & illegal eviction by enabling a victim to claim damages through the civil court.
When you have to leave your home
There are three stages that a landlord must go through before he can legally evict you from your home. These are:
- Serving your with a written Notice to Quit or a Notice of Seeking Possession
- Serving you with a Possession Order
- Serving you with an Eviction Order
You have the legal right to remain in your home until you receive the Eviction Order.
Housing Options Team
Tel: 01522 873777