Eviction of occupiers with basic protection
Most tenants can only be evicted in certain circumstances. Your landlord must follow the correct procedure. This section explains when landlords have the right to evict occupiers with basic protection and the procedures that must be followed.
You can get help from Shelter Cymru, see advice near you to find an advice surgery near you.
Am I an occupier with basic protection?
You are likely to be an occupier with basic protection if:
- you live in the same building (but which is not a purpose-built block of flats) as your landlord but do not share living accommodation with the landlord (for example if your landlord lives in a separate flat within the same converted house)
- you live in a student hall of residence
- you pay a very low rent or a very high rent.
If you are in any doubt about your status, contact an adviser.
Most private sector tenants have rights that come from the law. These depend on the type of living arrangement you have, the date you moved in and the agreement you have with your landlord.
If you are an occupier with basic protection your landlord can evict you fairly easily but must follow certain legal procedures. This applies even if you don’t have a written tenancy agreement. The landlord need only give you the correct written notice then get a possession order from the court.
What notice am I entitled to?
If you are a fixed term occupier your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order after the end of the fixed term. There is no need for the landlord to give you notice. If your landlord wants to evict you before the end of the fixed term your rights will depend on the exact terms of your contract.
If you are a periodic occupier your landlord must give you a written notice before you can be evicted. They don’t have to give a reason. The notice must:
- end on the day, or the day immediately before, your rent is due
- be for a certain length of time depending on how often you pay your rent and
- comply with any other terms in your tenancy agreement about giving notice.
If you pay rent weekly the notice must be at least four weeks. If you pay rent monthly the notice must be at least one month. Otherwise the notice must be the length of time agreed in your tenancy agreement (if you have one) or the length of time between rent payments, whichever is longer.
The notice must also contain these words:
‘If the tenant or licensee does not leave the dwelling, the landlord or licensor must get an order for possession from the court before the tenant or licensee can lawfully be evicted. The landlord or licensor cannot apply for such an order before the notice to quit or notice to determine has run out.
A tenant or licensee who does not know if [s/]he has any rights to remain in possession after a notice to quit or a notice to determine runs out can obtain advice from a solicitor. Help with all or part of the cost of legal advice and assistance may be available under the Legal Aid scheme. [S/]He should also be able to obtain information from a citizens advice bureau, a housing aid centre or a rent officer.’
If this information is not included the notice is not valid. It is treated as not having been given.
When can the landlord apply for a court order?
Once the notice ends your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order. If the notice you were given is valid the court has no choice but to make a possession order. It will usually order that you must leave in 14 days. It is only possible to delay the possession order (for a maximum of six weeks) if you are suffering great hardship.
Landlords have to pay court costs in order to evict tenants. If your landlord has to take you to court to force you to leave it is likely that you will have to pay your landlord’s court costs. Most tenants leave before the notice ends if they are able to.
What happens after the court order?
If you still haven’t left after a court order takes effect your landlord can ask the bailiffs to evict you.
Could the eviction be illegal?
It is against the law if your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order. There might be things you can do to stop your landlord from doing this. The council or an advice agency might be able to help.
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.