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.
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 0345 075 5005.
Receiving a notice from your landlord is usually the first step in the eviction process. Find out more here.
If you are an excluded occupier your landlord can evict you without having to go to court.