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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.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Emergency laws were introduced in Wales to deal with evictions during the pandemic.

Between 29 September 2020 and 24 March 2022, most tenants in Wales were entitled to 6 months’ notice before their landlord could start court action to evict them. This included secure, introductory and demoted tenancies.

The emergency laws ended on the 24 March 2022. This means, if you receive a notice after the 24 March 2022, the amount of notice you are entitled to depends on the type of tenancy you have and the reason (or ‘ground’) that your landlord wants to evict you. Take a look at the ‘Notice from the council’ section below to find out how much notice you are now entitled to.

What if my landlord has already started court proceedings to evict me?

If you have received possession papers or a notice of eviction from the county court use our step-by-step guide below to find out what will happen next:

Step-by-step guide to possession proceedings during Covid19

Some new stages in the possession process were introduced during the coronavirus pandemic. These included:

Reactivation Notices: if your landlord started court proceedings before 3 August 2020 the case was probably put on hold for a time. If your landlord wanted to re-start the case they had to send a Reactivation Notice to you and the court, giving information about the impact coronavirus had on you and your family. After the 1 December 2021 there will no longer be a need for a Reactivation Notice.

Review Date:up until 1 November 2021 the court had to set a Review Date 4 weeks before a possession hearing, so that the judge could review the papers and see if an agreement could be reached before a court hearing took place. Review Dates are no longer required but some courts might decide to continue with them. If you receive notice of a Review Date speak to an adviser as soon as you can. You might be able to get legal help on the day.

Bailiff eviction: bailiffs in Wales were banned from carrying out evictions during the pandemic. This ban ended on the 30 June 2021. From that date bailiffs have been able to carry out evictions regardless of the reason for eviction.

Always get advice if possession proceedings have started against you. It might not be too late to stop or delay any eviction.

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.

Are you under 25?

If you are under 25, and worried about being evicted, take a look at our Eviction advice page, specifically put together for young people.

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.

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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.

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This page was last updated on: March 30, 2022

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.