Eviction by a private landlord

Private landlords usually have to follow special legal procedures in order to evict tenants. They sometimes need a particular legal reason 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.

What ever 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.

For most tenants, your landlord has to follow 3 steps to legally evict you:

Step 1 : Notice

The first step your landlord has to take in order to evict you is 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 : County 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.

Step 3 : Eviction by the 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. Bailiffs are employed by the court. 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.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Notice from the landlord

Most private tenants can only be evicted if the landlord follows specific legal procedures. These usually start when your landlord gives you notice that you will have to leave

Eviction of assured shorthold tenants

The majority of private rented tenants are assured shorthold tenants. They can only be evicted in certain circumstances and landlords must follow certain rules and procedures.

Eviction of assured tenants

Most assured tenants can only be evicted in certain circumstances. This section explains when landlords have the right to evict assured tenants and the procedures that must be followed

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

You are likely to be an excluded occupier if you share living accommodation with your landlord.If you are an excluded occupier your landlord can evict you without having to go to court

Stopping the bailiffs

Most tenants can only be evicted if their landlord gets a possession order from the court and the date on it has passed.

Page last updated: Dec 20, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

This page was last updated on: December 20, 2017

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.