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Eviction by a private landlord

Private landlords must follow legal procedures to evict tenants. They sometimes need a legal reason (known as a ‘ground’) to evict you but in many cases they don’t.

How and when your landlord can evict you depends on the type of tenancy you have. The rules for the more common types of tenancy are explained below.

If you are an assured shorthold tenant and are being evicted, you could also take a look at our short video on the right hand side of this page.

Whatever type of tenancy you have, and whatever stage an eviction is at, it’s always worth getting advice. You might be able to stop or delay the eviction.


Emergency laws mean that most private tenants in Wales who get an eviction notice on or after 29 September 2020 are entitled to 6 months’ notice before their landlord can apply to court. This includes assured and assured shorthold tenants.

Court proceedings for eviction were suspended for a time but the courts have now been able to start to deal with evictions again.

If your landlord had started court proceedings to evict you before 3 August 2020 and wants to continue the proceedings they will need to send a notice to you and to the court. This is called a ‘Reactivation Notice’. In the notice they must give information to the court about the impact coronavirus has had on you and your family.

You will be contacted by the court if this happens and you will be told if there is to be a court hearing. The hearing might be dealt with by video or audio link.

You should still pay your rent while you are waiting for a court hearing. Make sure you tell your landlord about the affect that coronavirus has had on you and your family. Do this in an email or text and keep a copy so that you can show this to the court if asked.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, see our advice.

Step 1 : Notice

The first step your landlord has to take is to write to you to ask you to leave. Most tenants are entitled to a written notice. The notice may be written in a formal way because it has to contain certain legal information. Where a notice is required it must:

  • be of a specific length of time
  • state the date that your landlord wants you to leave
  • give reasons why you are being asked to leave (if applicable)
  • give specific information such as where you can get advice (if applicable).

For most types of tenants there are rules about how long your landlord has to give you before you have to leave and when the notice can be given.

In some cases landlords do not have to give written notice before you have to leave. This normally only applies to people who share accommodation with their landlord or who are living in their accommodation on a very temporary basis.

Step 2 : Court

If you haven’t left by the time the notice expires, landlords 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.

Sometimes landlords are able to get a possession order automatically but other times they need to prove a reason to the court. There may be a court hearing.

Find out more about court action for eviction here.

Step 3 : Bailiff

If you haven’t left by the date the court says you have to your landlord can arrange for a bailiff to evict you.

You will receive a letter from the court saying when the bailiffs will arrive. Bailiffs can physically remove you and your belongings from the property but must not use violence or unreasonable force in doing so.

It is sometimes possible to apply to the court to stop the bailiffs from evicting you. You should get specialist advice immediately if you want to do this.

Nobody other than a bailiff acting for the county court is allowed to physically remove you from the accommodation. If anyone else attempts to do this they are probably guilty of illegal eviction, which is a serious offence. Contact Shelter Cymru for advice if this happens to you.

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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If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

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Receiving a notice from your landlord is usually the first step in the eviction process. Find out more here.

Eviction of assured shorthold tenants

Most private tenants are assured shorthold tenants. They can be evicted by a landlord following the correct process, sometimes without the landlord having to give any reason.

Eviction of assured tenants

Most assured tenants can only be evicted in certain circumstances. Find out the procedures that must be followed here.

Eviction of regulated tenants

This section explains when landlords have the right to evict regulated tenants and the procedures that must be followed.

Occupiers with basic protection

This section explains when landlords have the right to evict occupiers with basic protection and the procedures that must be followed.

Excluded occupiers

If you are an excluded occupier your landlord can evict you without having to go to court.

This page was last updated on: November 18, 2020

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.

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