The law around ending a tenancy is relatively straightforward. You will normally have to serve a written notice on your tenant. The type of notice depends on when the tenancy started and why you want them to leave.
If your tenant refuses to leave, you may need to get a possession order from the County Court, depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have with your tenant. If your tenant still doesn't leave, you may have to go back to court to get a bailiff's warrant.
The important thing to remember is that you cannot evict your tenant yourself, you must follow the correct procedure. Contact us for advice.
There are different types of tenancies, each with different notice types:
If your tenant moved in before 15 January 1989 they will probably have a regulated tenancy. To end a regulated tenancy you will have to serve a 28-day notice to quit.
Assured Tenancies and Assured Shorthold Tenancies
If your tenant moved in after 15 January 1989, they will have either an assured tenancy or an assured shorthold tenancy.
- An assured tenancy gives your tenant the long-term right to stay in their home. You can only end it if you have a specific reason for doing so, such as rent arrears (there are 17 Grounds). You must serve either two weeks’ or two months’ notice to quit, depending on your reasons for doing so.
- An assured shorthold tenancy is for a fixed period of time and gives your tenant fewer rights. At the end of the fixed period of time, you have an automatic right to end the tenancy. You will need to give your tenant two months’ notice. The notice period cannot end before the end of the agreed fixed-term period. If you don’t give notice before the end of the fixed term there are special rules for issuing it at a later date. Please see the Compact Law website for further advice.
Resident Landlord Lets and Lodgings
If you share living accommodation such as a living room, kitchen, or bathroom with your tenant, you need only give reasonable notice. This notice should be at least equal to how often the rent is payable (for example, weekly or monthly). At the end of the notice period you can carry out a peaceful eviction and there is no need to get a court order. If you are going to evict your tenant you must be careful not to cause a breach of the peace. It is sensible to take legal advice first.
If you live in the same house as your tenant but don’t share living accommodation you must serve a notice to quit that:
- Is equal to how often the rent is due
- Gives at least 28 days’ notice
- Must end on the last day of a rental period
The notice must be on a special form which is available from legal stationers. If your tenant has not left at the end of the notice period, you must apply to the County Court for a possession order.
If you’re not sure what type of tenancy you have created, or how much notice to give, see the Compact Law website for further advice.
Remember – it is a criminal offence to evict a tenant without following the correct procedure.