What grounds can my landlord use to evict me?
Whether the housing association needs to prove legal reasons (known as grounds) to evict you depends on the type of tenancy you have.
Most housing association tenants have assured tenancies. If you are an assured tenant your landlord can only obtain a possession order from the court if they can prove a ground for the eviction. This ground must be stated in any notice they give you before the court proceedings.
The grounds that housing associations can use to evict assured tenants are in two groups :
If your landlord is using a mandatory ground the court has no choice but to make a possession order if it is satisfied that the ground is proved. Examples of mandatory grounds include:
- serious rent arrears : you pay rent weekly, and you have more than eight weeks’ rent arrears, or if you pay rent monthly, you have more than two months’ rent arrears
- serious anti-social behaviour : you (or people who live with you or visit you) have been convicted of a serious criminal offence, breached an anti-social behaviour injunction or criminal behaviour order or breached an order in respect of noise nuisance.
If your landlord is using a discretionary ground the court will only make a possession order if the ground is proven and it is reasonable to do so. Examples of discretionary grounds include:
- rent arrears or late payment of rent : you have some rent arrears or you are regularly late paying your rent
- breaking your tenancy agreement : you have broken a term of your tenancy agreement
- anti-social behaviour : you (or people who live with you or visit you) have caused a nuisance or annoyance in your home, or in the neighbourhood or used your home for illegal or immoral activities (eg drug dealing)
- condition of your home : you have allowed the condition of the property to deteriorate or have damaged your home or any furniture provided with it
- adapted property : your home was designed or adapted for a person with special needs, and the people in your household no longer need those special facilities.
Assured shorthold tenants
If you are an assured shorthold tenant the housing association only has to prove a ground for possession if they wish to end your tenancy during any fixed term (this would normally be in the first twelve months of the tenancy).
The most common reasons for eviction during the fixed-term of a tenancy include:
- not paying the rent
- causing nuisance to neighbours
- using the property for illegal activities
- living in another property and/or subletting your home without the housing association’s permission.
If the housing association wants to evict you after any fixed term has ended, it can apply for a possession order without having to give a reason. It must give you at least 2 months notice and use the ‘section 21 – no fault’ procedure.
Demoted or starter tenancies
If you are a demoted tenant or starter tenant the housing association won’t have to prove a ground. It is also unlikely to need to provide a ground if you are living in temporary accommodation, supported housing, or a hostel.
Whatever the reasons, it’s always a good idea to speak to an adviser. An adviser may be able to help you negotiate with the housing association, and/or represent you in court.
Take a look at our pages on court action to find out more.
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.