Notice from your landlord

If you receive notice from you landlord, get advice as soon as possible it may be possible to delay or prevent you from losing your accommodation.

You can get free advice and assistance from the Housing Options Team at East Herts Council, using our Housing General Enquiry Form or calling 01279 655261 and ask for Housing Options.

What type of tenancy do you have?

The type of notice that your landlord is required to give you will depend on what type of tenancy you have and when the tenancy started. If you are unsure what type of tenancy you have, use the shelter tenancy checker to find out.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Type of notice

There are two main routes private landlords can take to regain possession of a property let on an assured shorthold tenancy under the Housing Act 1988:

  • Section 21 gives a landlord an automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds (reasons) once the fixed term has expired
  • Section 8 allows a landlord to seek possession using grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15 or 17 (these include rent arrears and anti-social behaviour).

You do not have to leave on the date the notice expires. If you stay in the property after the notice period expires, your landlord will have to apply to the court for a possession order. If you still don't leave, your landlord must apply for a warrant for possession - this means bailiffs can evict you from the property.

Notice under Section 21 Housing Act 1988

Your landlord cannot use Section 21 during the first four months of a tenancy and must give at least two months' notice and must not expire before the end of a fixed term.

If your tenancy started after 6th April 2007 and you paid a deposit, your landlord must put it in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP). If your landlord fails to comply with this requirement a section 21 notice will be invalid.

The notice will also be invalid if, prior to a possession order being made; the council has served an Improvement Notice or Emergency Remedial Notice on the landlord within the last six months.

Your landlord must use a special form to service you with notice under Section 21, (Form 6a: Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured shorthold tenancy).

A section 21 notice is valid for 6 months.

If your tenancy started on or after 1st October 2015 a Section 21 notice is invalid unless your landlord has given you:

  • the latest copy of the government booklet, 'How to rent: the checklist for renting in England'; and
  • an energy performance certificate; and
  • a gas safety certificate dated in the last 12 months (if you have a gas supply)

The legislation on servicing notice to a tenant is complex. If your landlord issues you with a Section 21 notice contact the housing options team at the council as soon as possible.

Notice under Section 8 Housing Act 1988

Your landlord can use Section 8 of the Act to regain possession of his property at any time during the tenancy provided they have grounds for doing so. It is the only way a landlord can ask a tenant to leave before the end of a fixed term.

Examples of grounds include:

  • rent arrears
  • using the property for illegal purposes
  • the landlord want to move back into the property

The length of notice will depend on the grounds that you landlord is using and can vary from two weeks to two months.

If you are served with notice under Section 8 you should seek advice immediately as it may be possible to prevent or delay your eviction.

Assured tenancies

Assured tenants have strong tenancy rights. Your landlord must have a ground on which to evict you. Grounds can either be mandatory under which the court must make a possession order or discretionary, in which case the court will only grant a possession order if it is reasonable to do so.

If you have an assured tenancy and your landlord serves you with notice you should get advice as early as possible.

Excluded tenancy or licence

If you live with your landlord as a lodger, you will usually have an excluded tenancy or licence.

Your landlord only has to give you reasonable notice to quit. This is usually the length of the rental period i.e. if you pay your rent weekly it will be one week. The notice does not have to be in writing.

We also have information on our independent advice and debt agencies page

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