Receiving notice from your housing association
If you are an assured tenant with a housing association you can only be evicted in certain circumstances, such as breaking one of the terms or your tenancy, or falling into rent arrears. If this happens, the housing association must first give you notice. The notice is called a ‘notice seeking possession’ or ‘section 8 notice’.The amount of notice you get depends on why you are being evicted.
Different rules apply if you are an assured shorthold (starter) tenant or demoted tenant.
If your housing association wants you to leave and you’re not sure of your rights, get advice.
If you have an assured tenancy, before the housing association can apply to the court to evict you, it has to give you a warning notice, called a notice of seeking possession.
The notice must be on a special form and must:
- give the reasons or ‘grounds’ for wanting to evict you
- be for a set length of time.
The set length of time is between two weeks and two months, depending on the reasons for the proposed eviction. The only exception is if the housing association wants to evict you because it says you have been involved in serious nuisance, anti-social behaviour, or domestic violence. In those circumstances, the notice can take effect immediately.
Whatever the situation, the notice must explain what the reasons (or ‘grounds’) for the eviction are.
In most cases, the notice will be valid for 12 months. If the housing association doesn’t start court action before the end of that period, it has to serve you with a new notice.
What happens next?
As soon as you receive written notice you should contact an adviser. The faster you respond to the notice, the more chance you have of keeping your home. If you don’t respond to the notice, or if the housing association isn’t happy with your response, the next step it will need to take is to apply to the courts for a possession order. You will know if the housing association has done this because you’ll receive papers from the court. These will tell you:
- that the housing association is applying for ‘possession’ of your home (ie to evict you)
- what grounds (if these are needed) the housing association is using for the eviction – the grounds it can use will depend on the type of tenancy you have
- when the court date is
- you can make arrangements for your defence to be filed (and will include a defence form, which should normally be returned to the court within 14 days).
If you receive claim 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 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 a local advice centre straight away.
Advisers can check what type of licence you have and explain your rights. Your landlord may not have to get a court order to evict you, or even give you a written notice. It’s very important to speak to an adviser as soon as you can.
Don’t assume that the local council will have to rehouse you. If you are evicted, you may find it very difficult to find alternative housing. Depending on the reasons for the eviction, the council may decide that you made yourself homeless intentionally.
If you receive support and care and your housing association gives you notice of eviction, the housing association is meant to offer advice and assistance and inform other agencies involved of the action being taken. You should take advantage of any help these agencies can provide, as your other options will be very limited.
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.