Legal rights to stay in private rented accommodation

If a landlord wants to evict you from your home, the law states that they must follow the correct legal procedure. If you are to be evicted from private rented accommodation you are entitled to some form of written notice before you leave the property. Your landlord may send you a notice to quit or a notice seeking possession. Usually, you will be entitled to remain in the property until the landlord has obtained a possession order from the County Court. This then has to be enforced by a court bailiff. If you have been asked to leave your home contact the housing advice team.

The amount of protection you have depends on the type of your tenancy or licence agreement. It can also depend on when the letting agreement began.

Notice to quit or seeking possession

 The amount of time given for a notice to quit or seeking possession 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 must go to court to obtain a possession order at the end of the notice period.

If you have a resident landlord and you share your essential living accommodation with the landlord or a member of the landlord's family, special rules may apply and the landlord may not be required to go to court to evict the tenant.

In some circumstances, your landlord may only be required to give you reasonable notice and after the notice period has ended, they can carry out a peaceful eviction.

It is a criminal offence for a landlord or an agent to unlawfully evict a residential occupier. Offenders can face fines or even imprisonment.

We may prosecute offending landlords depending on the quality of the evidence.

For more information  view the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government guidance on landlord and tenants rights and responsibilities in the private rented sector.