Ending a tenancy
Lawfully evicting your tenant
If you wish to serve notice on your tenant, please refer to the government's advice on section-21 and section-8 notices.
To end a tenancy 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.
Assured and assured short-hold tenancies:
An assured tenancy gives your tenant the long-term right to stay in the property. You can only end it if you have a specific reason for doing so, such as rent arrears. You must serve either two weeks’ or two months’ notice to quit, depending on your reasons for doing so.
An assured short-hold 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.
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.
It is a criminal offence to evict a tenant without following the correct procedure.