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Eviction of council tenants

As a council tenant you generally have the right to stay in your home, providing you don’t break the rules of your tenancy. The procedure the council must follow will depend on the type of tenancy you have.

If you are a council tenant and threatened with eviction, speak to an adviser immediately. Even if the bailiffs are on the way, it’s never too late to get help.


Emergency laws mean that most council tenants in Wales who get an eviction notice on or after 29 September 2020 are entitled to 6 months’ notice before their landlord can apply to court. This includes secure, introductory and demoted tenancies.

Court proceedings for eviction were suspended for a time but the courts have now been able to start to deal with evictions again.

However, under the ‘firebreak’ rules no evictions will take place during the firebreak period. Any evictions that are currently scheduled for the firebreak period will be postponed for a date after 9 November 2020.

Depending on what steps had been taken before the eviction ban, the legal process could still take several months.

If your landlord had started court proceedings to evict you before 3 August 2020 and wants to continue the proceedings they will need to send a notice to you and to the court. This is called a ‘Reactivation Notice’. In the notice they must give information to the court about the impact coronavirus has had on you and your family.

You will be contacted by the court if this happens and you will be told if there is to be a court hearing. The hearing might be dealt with by video or audio link.

You should still pay your rent while you are waiting for a court hearing. Make sure you tell your landlord or lender about the affect that coronavirus has had on you and your family. Do this in an email or text and keep a copy so that you can show this to the court if asked.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, see our advice.

The steps involved in eviction

To evict you from a tenancy, the council must usually take 3 steps:

  1. send you notice to leave
  2. apply to the court for a possession order
  3. ask the court to send bailiffs to evict you.

If you are a secure council tenant, before starting court action to evict you, the council must follow the rules set out in a special pre-action protocol.

The rules on eviction are different depending on what type of tenancy you have. Most council tenants have secure tenancies, but you could also have an introductory or demoted tenancy. Ask your council if you are not sure what type of tenant you are.

Can I defend the possession claim?

If you believe that:

  • the council is wrong in what they say either in the notice, or in the court papers
  • the notice does not comply with the rules
  • the council has not followed the pre-action protocol, or
  • that in all the circumstances it would not be reasonable for you to be evicted,

you may have grounds to defend the claim. This will depend on what type of tenancy you have and you should get advice immediately from an adviser.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

Pre-action eviction rules

Before starting court action to evict you, the council must follow the rules set out in a special pre-action protocol.

Notice from the council

The first formal step for the council to evict you is to give you a notice. The length of the notice depends on the type of tenancy you have and the reason the council wants to evict you.

Grounds of eviction

Most council tenants cannot be evicted unless the council applies to court and proves a ‘ground of eviction’.

Court orders

Most council tenants cannot be evicted unless the council obtains a court order. It is important that you get advice and go to any court hearing.

This page was last updated on: Hydref 27, 2020

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

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