If your landlord wants to evict you from the property, they cannot just force you to leave out of the blue. There is a legal process they must follow in order to evict you from the property. If they force you to leave without going through the legal process the landlord could be guilty of an illegal eviction.
This article goes through the 3-step process your landlords needs to go through to lawfully evict you:
Step 1 – the section 21 notice
To evict a tenant the landlord must serve a notice under section 21 of the housing Act 1988. If your tenancy started on or after October 2015, your landlord needs to send the Form 6A found on the gov.uk website and give you at least 2 months’ notice.
The notice is invalid if:
- Your deposit is not protected the notice is invalid.
- You received it before your landlord sent you a copy of the gas and electrical safely certificate, and the ‘how to rent’ government produced guide.
- Your landlord needs a licence for the property (e.g. HMO) and has not yet got the license.
- The council issued your landlord with an improvement notice or emergency works notice. In this circumstance the council cannot serve section 21 notice within 6 months.
Step 2 – Court Action
The section 21 notice will provide you with a date in which you are meant to leave by. If you do not leave by that date the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order. This must be done within 6 months of sending the notice.
Once the landlord has made an application to the court, you will be sent court papers. If you wish to challenge and eviction or ask for more time you will need to fill out the response papers attached to the notice.
The court will then look through all the papers it has received and decide if the case needs to be listed for a hearing. If there is no hearing the court will make a decision based on the papers, if there is a hearing the court will wait until the hearing before they pass judgement.
If the court rules against you, you generally have between 2-6 weeks to leave the property and you will likely be liable for the landlord’s costs. If the case is dismissed the landlord can start the eviction proceedings again.
Step 3 – Eviction
To be evicted from your home the landlord must instruct bailiffs, only bailiffs can legally carry out an eviction. You will receive a court document called Form N54 instructing you of the time and date of the eviction.