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. This section explains what has to be included in a notice and when it can be given to you.
All landlords of ‘domestic tenancies’ in Wales must be registered with Rent Smart Wales and, unless they have an agent managing the property on their behalf, they must also obtain a licence. If a landlord has instructed an agent to manage the property, the agent must have a licence. If your landlord or agent is not registered or properly licensed, any section 21 notice that they give you on or after the 23rd November 2016 cannot be used to evict you. If you receive a section 21 notice you should check the public register to see if your landlord or agent is registered or licensed. If they are not then the notice will not be valid. See our pages on Landlord registration and licensing for more information.
If your landlord wants you to leave and you’re not sure of your rights get advice from Shelter Cymru. Click on Advice near you to find an adviser in your area.
Does my landlord have to give me a notice?
Most tenants are entitled to a written notice to leave a property even if your landlord did not give you a written agreement to live there in the first place. The main exception to this is if you are an excluded occupier. This will be the case if, for example, you share living accommodation such as a kitchen or bathroom with your landlord. In this case the landlord can ask you to leave verbally. For more information see our page on excluded occupiers.
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 does not expire until 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 specify 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.
Assured shorthold tenants
Your landlord does not need a reason to end your tenancy and can do so by giving you a section 21 notice, which must give you at least two months’ notice. If you have a fixed term tenancy the notice cannot come into effect before the fixed term has ended, unless your tenancy agreement contains a ‘break clause’ allowing the tenancy to be ended early.
Remember, from 23rd November 2016, your landlord must be registered and have a licence before you can be served with a section 21 notice. You can check whether your landlord is registered and whether your landlord or his/her agent has a licence by going to Rent Smart Wales.
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. The reasons your landlord could use are the same as for assured tenants (see below).
For more advice on being evicted from an assured shorthold tenancy, click here.
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.
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 gets a possession order from the court. This means that if you can’t leave when the notice ends you have a bit more time to find somewhere else to live. If your landlord ends up having to take you to court to make you leave you might have to pay their court costs (see below).
If you receive 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 prevent your landlord evicting you. If you can do this you will not normally be expected to pay your landlord’s court costs. Talk to an adviser if you are thinking of staying after your notice ends.
Your landlord can apply to court for a possession order as soon as the notice ends. If this happens the court will contact you.
Will I have to pay court costs?
If your landlord decides to go to court to obtain a possession order, he or she will have to pay a fee to the court. Just to apply for an order costs £355 or £325 if your landlord applies online. To get a possession order against an assured shorthold tenant may cost about £500 in total if the case is straightforward. The costs may be much higher than this for more complicated situations or if your landlord uses a solicitor. If your landlord has to take you to court to evict you 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.