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 threatened with eviction for any reason, get advice straightaway.  Even if the bailiffs are on the way, it’s never too late to get help, but you need to act quickly. Call Shelter Cymru’s expert housing advice helpline on 0345 075 5005 or email an adviser. You may be able to get legal aid so that a Shelter Cymru adviser can come to court with you.

Pre-action eviction rules

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.

If the council doesn’t follow the rules they may not be able to get a possession order or they may have to pay court costs.

Notice of eviction

The first step in the eviction of a secure council tenant is usually the service of a written notice from your council. The length of the notice depends on the reason the council wants to evict you.

If you are an introductory or demoted tenant, the notice should set out your right to ask for a review of the council’s decision to end your tenancy – this is an internal appeal to the council where it considers your circumstances. You must ask for a review of the council’s decision within 14 days.

If you live in temporary accommodation, supported housing or a hostel, the council has simply to serve you with a notice if it wants you to leave.

Court order

If you haven’t left by the time the notice expires, the council will usually have to apply for an order from the county court telling you to leave. This is known as a possession order. Most tenants are entitled to stay in their accommodation until a possession order takes effect.

If you have a secure tenancy, the council must prove it has reasons for deciding to evict you (known as grounds) to the court. In some cases the council will not need to make an application to the court.

Can I defend the possession claim?

If you disagree with what the council say either in the notice, or in the court papers, or you believe that in all the circumstances it would not be reasonable for you to be evicted, you may have grounds to defend the council’s claim, and you should get advice immediately.

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 advisor
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.

Eviction from the bailiffs

If you haven’t left the property by the date the court ordered you to leave, the council can arrange for bailiffs to evict you.

Page last updated: Oct 1, 2018 @ 3:57 pm

This page was last updated on: October 1, 2018

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.