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.

Call Shelter Cymru’s expert housing advice helpline or send them an email. If you prefer, visit advice near you to find a local Shelter Cymru advice surgery where you can talk to someone in person. You may be able to get legal aid so that a Shelter Cymru adviser can come to court with you.

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 0345 075 5005.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

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: May 7, 2019

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.