Notice from the landlord
Receiving a notice from your landlord is usually the start of the eviction process.
Most private tenants can only be evicted if a notice is served on them. The type and length of the notice depends on what type of tenancy you have.
If you have received a notice from your landlord get urgent advice from Shelter Cymru.
Does my landlord have to give me a notice?
Most tenants are entitled to a written notice, even if they did not have a written agreement to live there in the first place.
The main exception to this is excluded occupiers – for example, where you share living accommodation such as a kitchen or bathroom with your landlord. In this case the landlord can ask you to leave verbally.
What does the notice have to include?
The information that has to be included in the notice varies depending on the type of tenancy you have. The information that is usually required includes:
- your name and address
- your landlord’s name and address
- the date you have to leave
- the reason your landlord is evicting you (if required)
- information about where you can get advice.
When can my landlord give me notice?
When you can be given the notice depends on the reason your landlord is evicting you and the type of tenancy you have.
If you have a fixed term tenancy your landlord can only give you notice during the fixed term if:
- there is a clause in your tenancy agreement allowing your landlord to end the tenancy early (sometimes known as a ‘break clause’), or
- the notice expires after the fixed term has ended.
If you have a periodic tenancy your landlord can give you notice any time as long as the notice:
- is for the correct length of time
- contains any other information which may be required, depending on what sort of tenancy you have.
When do I have to leave?
The notice must give you a date by which your landlord wants you to leave. There are rules about the earliest this date can be. These depend on the type of tenancy you have and the reason why your landlord is evicting you.
You can leave on this date or, if you have not got anywhere else to go (and you are not an excluded occupier), you can stay until your landlord gets a possession order from the court.
Notice for assured shorthold tenants
If you are an assured shorthold tenant, your landlord does not need a reason to end your tenancy and can do so by using the ‘section 21’ or ‘no fault’ procedure. To do this your landlord must give you a ‘section 21 notice’, which must be in writing and give you at least 2 months’ to leave the property.
If you have a fixed term tenancy a ‘section 21 notice’ cannot expire before the fixed term has ended, unless your tenancy agreement contains a ‘break clause’ allowing the tenancy to be ended early.
A landlord cannot rely on a ‘section 21 notice’ unless :
- they are registered with Rent Smart Wales and complied with the correct licensing rules. You can check the public register here
- they have protected any deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme and provided you with certain prescribed information within 30 days
- they have repaid any banned letting fee that they might owe you.
Alternatively, if your landlord can prove you have breached the terms of your agreement, and the agreement includes a ‘break clause’, they can give you between 2 weeks’ and 2 months’ notice depending on the reason they are relying on. If you have been guilty of causing a nuisance, or have been convicted of certain offences, the landlord can give you notice to leave immediately.
For more advice on being evicted from an assured shorthold tenancy, click here.
Notice for assured tenants
If you are an assured tenant your landlord must give either two months’ or 14 days’ notice depending on the reason you are being evicted :
- If the reason is because you have done something wrong (such as rent arrears) the notice will be at least 14 days
- If you have been guilty of causing a nuisance, or have been convicted of certain offences, the landlord may give you notice to leave immediately
- If you are being evicted for any other reason the notice must be at least two months.
For more advice if you are being evicted from an assured tenancy, click here.
Notice for regulated tenants
If you are a regulated tenant you can only be evicted if your tenancy is at a certain stage (known as the statutory stage). The court will not make a possession order unless the landlord has a good reason for evicting you.
If your regulated tenancy is still at its contractual stage the landlord has to give a notice to end the contractual tenancy before applying for a court order.
For more advice if you are being evicted from a regulated tenancy, click here.
Occupiers with basic protection
If you are an occupier with basic protection the length of notice your landlord must give depends on how often you pay your rent. If you pay rent weekly you must be given four weeks’ notice. If you pay monthly you must be given one month’s notice. If you pay rent quarterly you must be given three months’ notice.
The notice must also:
- end on the day, or the day before, your rent is due
- explain your landlord must get a court order before you have to leave
- contain information about where you can get advice
- comply with any other terms in your tenancy agreement which relate to giving notice.
For more advice on the eviction of occupiers with basic protection, click here.
What happens after the notice ends?
Unless you are an excluded occupier you don’t have to leave until the landlord starts court proceedings and gets a possession order from the court. But, if you don’t move out and your landlord successfully takes you to court you might have to pay their court costs (see below).
If you get a letter from your landlord asking you to leave, get advice immediately to check whether you will have to leave or not. You should find out whether you can do anything (such as pay off your rent arrears) to stop your landlord taking you to court.
Your landlord can apply to court for a possession order as soon as any notice ends. You will receive a letter from the court if this happens.
Will I have to pay court costs?
If you do not move out when the notice ends and your landlord decides to go to court to get a possession order, he or she will have to pay a fee to the court. They may also pay for a solicitor to help them or represent them in court.
If your landlord successfully gets a possession order it is likely that you will end up having to pay their costs. If you do not or cannot pay you might end up with a court debt.
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.