Your right to stay in a private rented property

If a landlord wants to evict you (the tenant), they must follow the legal procedure. If you are to be evicted from a rented property, the landlord must give you written notice.

Your landlord may send you a notice to quit or a notice seeking possession.

You can stay in the property until the landlord gets a possession order from the county court. This will have to be enforced by a court bailiff.

If you have been asked to leave your home please contact our Housing advice team.

Notice to quit or seeking possession

The amount of time given for a notice to quit or seeking possession can vary. It can vary from two weeks to two months and depends on the following:

  • when your tenancy began
  • the type of  your tenancy or licence
  • the reason your landlord wants the property back.

If you do not want to leave the property, your landlord needs to get a possession order. They must get this from court at the end of the notice period.

If your landlord or a member of their family lives with you, special rules may apply. In this case the landlord may not need to go to court to evict you.

Sometimes your landlord may only need to give you reasonable notice. After this notice period has ended, they can carry out a peaceful eviction.

For more about tenant rights in rented properties, see GOV.UK.

Illegal evictions and landlord harassment

Landlords can sometimes pressure you to leave. It is a criminal offence for a landlord or an agent to unlawfully evict a tenant. Offenders can face fines or even imprisonment.

If you face eviction, seek advice on your rights as a tenant. Your rights depend on your tenancy type. They also depend on why your landlord wants to evict you.

A landlord's only defence against a claim of illegal eviction is if they believed the tenant had left. If you plan to be away from your property for a long time, but you will return, you must keep paying your rent.

It is important that you do not remove your belongings.

Examples of criminal offences (if proven):

  • Disconnection of essential services. These include the supply of electricity, gas or water.
  • Interference or removal of your belongings.
  • Prevention of access to the bathroom, kitchen or garden. This is if you share or have exclusive right to these areas.
  • Entering your home without your consent.
  • Making threats to persuade you to leave.

If you are being threatened to leave your home, contact our Housing advice team. We have the power to start legal proceedings. We can investigate and, if we have evidence, can prosecute the offender