Eviction: temporary accommodation licences and common law tenancies
- If you live in temporary accommodation you can usually be evicted easily
- If you have a licence your landlord can probably evict you without a court order
- Getting help at an early stage can help you keep your home
If you live in temporary accommodation you probably don’t have strong protection against eviction. Whether your landlord needs to get a court order to evict you depends on whether you have a licence, a ‘common law tenancy’ or a standard contract. You can find out what kind of renting agreement you have by reading our advice about living in temporary accommodation here.
This page is advice for people facing eviction from temporary housing who have a licence or ‘common law’ tenancy. For information about eviction of standard contract-holders in temporary housing, see here.
Eviction from temporary accommodation if you have a licence
In some situations, you might be an excluded occupier. This will be the case if:
- you have a licence agreement
- you live in a hostel that is owned or managed by the council, or
- you are waiting for the council to give you a written decision on your homelessness application and you are in emergency housing.
If you are an excluded occupier and the council wants you to leave it must give you reasonable notice, but your landlord does not need to get a court order to evict you.
Once the notice period has ended, your landlord has the right to change the locks while you are out but may commit a criminal offence if physical violence is used or you are threatened during the eviction. See our pages on harassment and illegal eviction.
Even though it is not necessary it is good practice for landlords to get a possession order from the court to evict excluded occupiers. The court has no choice but to make a possession order as long as reasonable notice has been given.
If you have a homelessness application with the council and are evicted from temporary accommodation, it does not necessarily mean that the council will not have to help you in other ways. It will depend upon whether the council has other duties to you following your homeless application. Read about the council’s duties to help you if you are homeless here.
Get help immediately if you are threatened with eviction for any reason. It may be difficult to find anywhere else to live if you don’t take action quickly.
Eviction from temporary accommodation if you have a common law tenancy
If you have a common law tenancy you are classed as an occupier with basic protection. You can be evicted quite easily providing your landlord gives a valid ‘notice to quit’ and gets a court order.
Your landlord must give you a written notice before you can be evicted. The notice should:
- 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 4 weeks. If you pay rent monthly the notice must be at least 1 month. Otherwise, the notice must be the length of time agreed in your tenancy agreement or the length of time between rent payments, whichever is longer.
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.
Click here for advice on what to expect at court.