Eviction: prohibited conduct standard contracts

  • Prohibited conduct standard contract-holders can be evicted quite easily
  • Your landlord must serve you notice and get a court order to evict you
  • Getting help at an early stage can help you keep your home

If you are a prohibited conduct standard contract-holder, your landlord doesn’t have to prove a legal reason to evict you. They must follow the correct procedure and get a court order.

The 3 steps to eviction

Step 1: Notice  

Your landlord must first give you written notice. The notice must specify how long before they can start court action.  

Step 2: Court action 

Before starting court action community landlords must also follow rules set out in a special pre-action protocol. If you think your landlord has not followed the pre-action protocol, get advice.   

Step 3: Bailiff 

If you have not left on the date the possession order says you should, the landlord must then arrange for a county court bailiff to evict you. You can only be evicted by bailiffs with an eviction warrant. If anyone tries to force you to leave your home without following this process, it is likely to be an illegal eviction.

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Grounds for eviction: ‘absolute grounds’ 

Your landlord may be able to end your prohibited conduct standard contract using ‘absolute grounds’. These are sometimes referred as ‘mandatory grounds’. This means that if the landlord follows the correct procedure the court has to grant a possession order. These grounds are: 

  • ‘no fault’ eviction (known as a section 173’ notice) 
  • serious rent arrears of 2 months or more (known as a ‘section 181’ notice).

You should check your contract to see if it allows the landlord to give you a ‘no fault’ or a serious rent arrears notice. If it doesn’t, then the landlord can’t end your contract using these grounds. 

Restrictions on using the ‘no fault’ notice procedure

Your landlord cannot give you a ‘no fault’ (or section 173) if: 

  • you’ve not received a written contract within 14 days of the contract starting. Your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice until 6 months after providing the written contract 
  • you’ve not received an address that you can send correspondence to  
  • you’ve not been given a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) 
  • your landlord hasn’t provided working smoke and (where needed) carbon monoxide alarms in your home 
  • your landlord hasn’t provided a current electrical installation condition report (EICR) 
  • your landlord hasn’t provided a current gas safety report 
  • a previous possession claim was thrown out by the court less than 6 months ago as it was a retaliatory eviction. This means that the landlord was trying to evict you to avoid doing repairs or making the property fit to live in. 
  • it is less than 6 months since a ‘no fault’ notice was withdrawn by the landlord (unless the new notice was given within 28 days of the withdrawn notice) 

If you have received a ‘no fault’ notice and any of the above apply, then get help.

PLEASE NOTE these restrictions may not apply, or may apply differently, if you have a converted prohibited conduct standard contract. 

How much notice will I get?

‘No fault’ notice  

If your landlord is evicting you using the ‘no fault’ eviction procedure (section 173), you should get 2 months’ notice. Court action can only begin after the notice period has ended.  

After giving you a ‘no fault’ notice your landlord has 2 months after the end of the notice period to begin court action. If the landlord doesn’t make a possession claim within those 2 months, then they cannot give you another ‘no fault’ notice for a further 6 months. 

If you moved in before 1 December 2022 and have a converted prohibited conduct standard contract and you don’t receive a written contract by 1 June 2023 your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ section 173 notice until 6 months after they provide the written contract. 

 Serious rent arrears notice  

If your landlord is evicting you because of serious rent arrears your landlord can begin court action after 1 months’ notice. 

After giving you notice your landlord has 6 months to begin court action.  

The right to ask for a review of the landlord’s decision to give you notice

If your landlord gives you a ‘no fault’ eviction notice or a serious rent arrears eviction notice you can ask them to review their decision to evict you. You should be informed of the right to request a review in the notice. The court may decide to dismiss the landlord’s possession claim if the notice does not inform you of the right to ask your landlord to review their decision to evict you. 

You should request a review in writing within 14 days of receiving the notice. For more information, please see requesting a review of a community landlord’s decision 

How the court makes a decision

‘No fault’ (section 173) eviction 

If your landlord is using the ‘no fault’ procedure, then the court must grant a possession order to the landlord providing they have followed the procedure and given you all the required information when you moved in.  

If you think the landlord is evicting you rather than carrying out repairs or ensuring your home is fit to live in, the court may decide it is not reasonable to allow your landlord to evict you. This is known as retaliatory eviction. Your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice for 6 months following the court’s decision to dismiss the claim for this reason.  

You may not be given a hearing if the landlord is using the ‘no fault’ eviction procedure. However, the court papers you receive should give you the opportunity to say if you don’t think the landlord has followed the correct notice procedure, the pre-action protocol, or if you think it’s a retaliatory eviction. Depending on the circumstances, the court may then decide a hearing is appropriate.

Serious rent arrears 

If your landlord is evicting you for serious rent arrears, the court has to grant a possession order if you are in 2 months arrears on the day you were given notice and on the day of the hearing. If you are not in serious rent arrears on one of these days the court may decide not to evict you.  

If your landlord applies to court, the papers you receive from the court should give you the opportunity to say if you don’t think the landlord has followed the correct notice procedure, or the pre-action protocol. You can also notify the court if you think there has been a mistake in calculating rent arrears or if there are issues with claiming housing benefit or universal credit.  

For information about the different decisions the court can make, see here. 

Asking the county court to review the decision to evict you

In some circumstances you can ask the county court to review the decision to evict you after court action has started. This applies if: 

  • you have a prohibited conduct standard contract and are being evicted using the ‘no fault’ procedure 
  • you have a prohibited conduct standard contract and are being evicted for serious rent arrears 

You can ask for a county court review even if the landlord has already reviewed the decision to give notice (see above). 

Get help if you want to do this. County court reviews use the principles of ‘judicial review’ and can be complicated.   

For more information about what to expect during the court process, click here. 

Grounds for eviction: ‘discretionary grounds’ 

In some circumstances your landlord might choose to evict you using specific reasons. These reasons are known as ‘discretionary’ grounds. There are 2 types of discretionary grounds:    

Breach of contract 

If you have broken any terms of your contract, your landlord might be able to evict you. Breaches of contract could include: 

  • rent arrears (you may be able to get debt advice from the ‘Breathing space’ scheme) 
  • subletting part or all of the property without permission 
  • behaving antisocially

Estate management grounds 

Examples of estate management grounds include: 

  • if the landlord is carrying out building or redevelopment work 
  • if the property is specially adapted and is needed to house someone with needs suited to the property 

How much notice will I get?

If your landlord is evicting you for breach of contract or estate management grounds, you will usually get 1 months’ notice before your landlord can start court action.  

However, if the landlord is evicting you for antisocial behaviour they can begin court action as soon as they have given you notice. 

If your landlord is evicting you because you have inherited the contract and the home is larger than you need, then they cannot serve notice until 6 months after they found out about the death of the contract-holder. Once 12 months have passed they cannot give notice using this ground. 

If your landlord is evicting you because a joint contract-holder has left the contract and the home is larger than you need, they must serve notice within 6 months of the joint contract-holder leaving the contract. 

After giving you notice your landlord has 6 months to begin court action. 

 Always get help if you receive a notice. An adviser can check if the notice is correct and may be able to help you keep your home. 

How the court makes a decision

If your landlord is evicting you using a ‘ground’, the court can only decide to evict you if the landlord proves the ground and it is reasonable to evict you. If the ground is an estate management ground, then the landlord must also show the court that they are making suitable alternative accommodation available for you. For information about the different decisions the court can make, see here. 

Get help if you are facing eviction 

Get help now if you’re facing eviction. An adviser can check if the notice is correct and may be able to help you negotiate with your landlord or represent you in court. Have the papers you received from the court or your landlord with you when you speak to an adviser. 

If you are at risk of losing your home you should contact your local council to make a homelessness application. 

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Rydym yn ymddiheuro na fedrwn ddarparu’r wybodaeth yma yn Gymraeg, ond os hoffech siarad ag ymgynghorydd yn Gymraeg yna cysylltwch ar 08000 495 495.
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.

This page was last updated on: Chwefror 19, 2023

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.