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What to do if your landlord asks you to leave

If you are a tenant you need to be aware that:

  • if you pay a deposit, your landlord should protect it under a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme
  • if you are in rent arrears, you will need to get help immediately
  • if you are on a low income you may be able to claim housing benefit to help with rent

You must not agree to leave unless you have arranged an alternative long-term home to move to. If you are renting your home from a private landlord, and your landlord is asking you to leave, get help with your housing situation. If your landlord needs to move back into the house you’re renting, they must give you written notice. In most cases, after the notice has expired, your landlord will need to apply for a court order.

For more information, view our leaflet (PDF).

Types of notice landlords can serve

A Section 21 notice of seeking possession is the most common. A landlord must apply to the court for possession, and prove any deposits were properly protected in line with the law. Once that is done, a judge can grant possession to the landlord. A possession order will only take effect after the end of the fixed term of your tenancy.

A Section 8 notice of seeking possession is served on an assured shorthold tenant who is at least eight weeks in rent arrears (if rent is paid weekly), or two months (if rent is paid monthly). The landlord can apply for possession 14 days after serving the notice on the tenant. A judge may grant possession to your landlord and possibly a money judgement order against you. It is important that you seek advice from a solicitor if you are served with a Section 8 notice.

It is unlawful for landlords to harass or intimidate their tenants or try to force them to move out of their home without following the correct legal process. If this is happening to you, get help with your housing situation. If you are assessed as having an urgent housing problem, our Housing Options and Advice team will arrange to see you on the same or next working day and assist you.

Homeless enquiry and housing options

It’s vital that your caseworker is notified of any court action by your landlord as quickly as possible.

We recommend that an applicant attempts to make their own arrangements if a private sector home is not secured prior to eviction. For example, stay with friends or relatives.

This allows time for you to seek a home in the private sector and receive help from the us in finding a private rented property that is suitable and affordable.

If eviction takes place and there’s no time to secure a home in the private sector, it’s likely you will be placed in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation. This type of accommodation has the following drawbacks:

  • Very expensive.
  • Offers no choice in where to live.
  • May require you to move several times because of the emergency and short term nature of this type of accommodation.

If you don’t accept a suitable offer of emergency accommodation, we will discharge our housing duty towards you. It’s vital that you continue to search for a home in the private sector even after you have been placed in emergency accommodation.

For us to accept a full housing duty, you will have to be homeless and we must be satisfied that you are eligible for assistance and in priority need. If a full housing duty is accepted, you will be assisted with securing a home in the private sector through the Homefinder Scheme.

There are several options that you can look into if you want to move to a place of your own:

If you have benefits you may be able to get help with rent by claiming Local Housing Allowance or discretionary housing payments.

If we have a legal duty to assist you under the homelessness law and you have nowhere to store your belongings while living in emergency accommodation, we may be able to help. Our charges are set out below.

An inventory of your belongings will be prepared before they go into storage, and will then be stored in waterproof containers in a secure facility.

Belongings can only be put into storage and removed once. You won’t have access to retrieve items, so do not store valuables, passports or other things you may need access to. If you leave items in storage for a long period of time, they may be disposed of if we cannot contact you.


The cost for this service can be up to £696.00, including a £100 deposit. You will need to sign an agreement for monthly repayments of the remaining money (including our terms and conditions for storage). Failure to pay your monthly charge could result in belongings being sold off to recover costs.

The storage charge will be applied for the size of the accommodation you’re moving out of. You must always pay the rate for the size of your house.

Property size Cost
One bedroom flat £336 including VAT
Two bedroom flat £456 including VAT
Three bedroom flat £624 including VAT
Two bedroom house £408 including VAT
Three bedroom house £576 including VAT
Four bedroom house £696 including VAT