I have been served with a notice to leave my home by my landlord

If your landlord has given you notice and asked you to leave the property, they have most likely served you with either a Section 21 notice or Section 8 notice. In both cases, do not ignore the situation. You should contact your landlord immediately to try and seek a resolution.

For detailed advice, options available to you and contact details of useful support agencies, please click on the PDF below:

'I have been served with a notice to leave my home by my landlord' (PDF)

Section 21 notice

A Section 21 is a formal notice issued by your landlord for you to leave the property. It is considered a mandatory possession.

There are 3 legal steps to the Section 21 eviction process.

Step 1 - Section 21 notice must be valid

  • It must be provided in a written format by your landlord
  • It must give you two months notice
  • You must have an assured shorthold tenancy
  • It must expire at the end of or after your fixed-term tenancy

Step 2 - Possession order

  • After the two months notice has ended and you have not left the property, your landlord must apply to court and obtain a possession order which will give you a scheduled date to leave
  • The court will send the defence papers to you. You have 14 days to complete and return them to court. This is your only opportunity to inform the court of incorrect notices / non-protection of tenancies etc.

Step 3 - Notice of eviction

  • When the date to leave on the possession order expires, your landlord must go back to the court and apply for notice of eviction which gives a date for bailiffs to remove you from the property. You will be informed of the bailiff warrant in advance by the courts to give you time to pack your belongings.

If you are struggling to find yourself alternative accommodation, you may want to exercise your tenant rights to stay until the final stage of the notice of eviction. This will give you valuable time to secure new accommodation and avoid becoming homeless. 

Section 8 notice

A Section 8 is a formal notice issued by your landlord for you to leave the property due to a breach of the tenancy. 

There are 3 legal steps to a Section 8 notice.

Step 1 - Section 8 notice must be valid

  • It must be a written notice and state the time after which the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order
  • You must have an assured tenancy
  • It must state the reason (grounds) the landlord is seeking possession
  • The notice remains valid for one year

Step 2 - Possession order

  • After the notice has expired, your landlord can apply to a court for a possession order. The notice period may vary from: immediate, 14 days or 2 months. The period depends on the ground being used for eviction and whether you have a fixed term tenancy or not.
  • The court will send you documents telling you about your landlord's eviction claim. You can fill in these documents and put in a defence which will help the court reach a decision. You can also go the court hearing. If you miss the deadline to send in your defence, it is not too late as you can attend the court hearing to file a defence. There may be a duty solicitor or a CAB advisor available to help you.
  • If mandatory grounds are proven to the court, the court has to make a possession order. If discretionary grounds are used, it is up to the court to decide if a possession order is reasonable.
  • A possession order can be an outright order, a suspended order or a money judgement

Step 3 - Eviction

  • An outright order means you must leave the property by the date given on the order. This is usually 14 days after the court order. If you have not left by this date, your landlord can apply to court for bailiffs to evict you
  • A suspended or postponed order means you can stay if you meet the conditions explained in the order. If you breach the conditions your landlord can apply to court for bailiffs to evict you