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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.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Most private tenants in Wales are currently entitled to 6 months’ notice before their landlord can start court action to evict them. This includes assured shorthold tenants and assured tenants.

You could be given a shorter notice in some cases. For example if you’re facing eviction for antisocial behaviour, are living with your landlord, or you received your notice before the 29 September 2020. Use our interactive tool below to find out how much notice you are entitled to:

What if my landlord has already started court proceedings to evict me?

The way the courts deal with possession cases changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have received possession papers or a notice of eviction from the county court use our step-by-step guide below to find out what will happen next:

Step-by-step guide to possession proceedings during Covid19

There are some new stages in the possession process. These include:

Reactivation Notices: if your landlord started court proceedings before 3 August 2020 it is likely that it was put on hold for a time. Your landlord must send a Reactivation Notice to you and the court to re-start the case. In the notice they must give information to the court about the impact coronavirus has had on you and your family. Make sure you tell your landlord straight away if you are struggling because of coronavirus, for example, if your income has reduced and you cannot pay your rent. It is best to do this in an email. Your landlord will then have to pass this information on to the court in any Reactivation Notice.

Review Date: in most cases the court will set a Review Date for the judge to review the papers and see if an agreement can be reached before a court hearing takes place. You don’t need to go to court on the Review Date but you will be told when it is so that you can try and make an agreement if possible.

Courts remain open but some hearings might be dealt with by telephone or a video link. Make sure you contact the court in advance of any court hearing if you are worried about going to the court because of coronavirus.

Court duty advisers are available to help you on any Review Date or at any possession hearing. Details of how to contact an adviser should be sent to you with the papers from the court.

Bailiff eviction: bailiffs in Wales were banned from carrying out evictions during the pandemic. This ban has now ended and bailiffs are now able to evict you from your home regardless of the reason for eviction.

Always get advice if possession proceedings have started against you. It might not be too late to stop or delay any eviction.

The 3 steps to eviction

To lawfully evict a tenant, your landlord must follow 3 steps. Find out more about each step below.

1. Notice

The first step your landlord has to take is to formally ask you to leave by giving you notice. Most tenants are entitled to a written notice. Where a notice is required it must:

  • be of a specific length of time
  • state the date that your landlord wants you to leave
  • in some cases, give reasons why you are being asked to leave
  • in some cases, give certain information such as where you can get advice.

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.

2. Possession order

If you haven’t left by the time the notice ends, 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 the date given in a possession order.

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.

3. Bailiff

If you haven’t left by the date in any possession order your landlord can arrange for a bailiff to evict you.

You will receive a letter from the court saying when the bailiffs will arrive. This is called a Notice of Eviction. County court 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. 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.

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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: August 10, 2021

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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