Notice of eviction from the council
Receiving a notice from the council is usually the start of the eviction process.
The type and length of the notice depends on what type of tenancy you have and the reason why the council wishes to evict you.
If you are a secure tenant you can only be evicted in certain circumstances, such as breaking one of the terms or your tenancy, or falling into rent arrears.
If you receive a notice from the council it is important not to bury your head in the sand. Get advice as soon as you can – visit advice near you to find an adviser in your area.
What does the notice have to include?
If you have a secure tenancy, the notice must be in a special form called a ‘Notice of Seeking Possession’ (or NSP) and must :
- explain the reasons (or ‘grounds‘) for wanting to evict you
- be for a set length of time.
In most cases, the NSP must be for a period of at least 4 weeks. But, if you have been guilty of causing a nuisance, or have been convicted of certain offences, the council may give you notice to leave immediately.
If the council wants to evict you because you have been convicted of a serious criminal offence, breached an anti-social behaviour order, criminal behaviour order, noise abatement notice or have obtained a closure order, then it must give you a notice explaining the reasons why they want to evict you. This notice must tell you that you have a right to ask for a review of their decision to evict you. If you want to ask for a review you only have 7 days to do it so you must get advice quickly.
In most cases the notice will be valid for 12 months. If the council hasn’t started its court action before the end of the 12 month period, it will have to serve you with a fresh notice.
What happens after the notice ends?
If the notice ends, or if the council isn’t happy with any response you have given to the notice, the next step it will need to take is to start court proceedings for a possession order.
If you are a secure tenant, you don’t have to leave your home until the council gets a possession order but, if you don’t move out and your landlord successfully takes you to court you might have to pay their court costs.
You will know if the council has started court proceedings because you’ll receive a letter from the court together with some court papers. If you receive papers from the court and you haven’t contacted an adviser yet, make sure you do so immediately – it might not be too late to prevent eviction.
What if I have an introductory or demoted tenancy?
The council must give you at least four weeks’ notice that it intends to go to court to evict you and explain its reasons why. The notice must also tell you that you have the right to request a review of the council’s decision – this is an internal appeal to the council where it considers your circumstances. But there is a time limit. You must submit a request to review the council’s decision within 14 days.
A specialist adviser may also be able to help you with your arguments against the eviction and put a legal case together. If you miss the 14-day deadline to request a review, you are in serious danger of losing your home.
What if I live in temporary accommodation, supported housing, or a hostel?
If you live in temporary accommodation, supported housing, or a hostel and are threatened with eviction, get in touch with Shelter Cymru immediately. An adviser can check what type of licence or tenancy you have and explain what your rights are.
You may not be entitled to a court order, or even a written notice.
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.