Eviction: periodic standard contracts
- If you have a periodic standard contract your landlord might not need to give a reason to evict you
- The information on this page applies to you if you agreed to a new periodic standard contract on or after 1 December 202
- Getting help at an early stage can help you keep your home
If you are a periodic standard contract-holder your landlord doesn’t always need to provide a reason for evicting you, but they must follow the correct procedure and get a court order.
In some situations, there are different rules about eviction. For example, if you live in your home as part of your job, your landlord may be able to give less notice. Find out more here.
If you moved into your home before 1 December 2022 and had a periodic assured shorthold tenancy immediately before this date, you have a converted periodic standard contract. The information on this page does not apply to you as there are different rules about notices for converted contracts. Please see our advice about eviction of converted periodic standard contract-holders instead.
The 3 steps to eviction
Step 1: Notice
Your landlord must first give you written notice. The notice must specify how long before they can start court action.
Step 2: Court action
Your landlord must apply to court to get a possession order to evict you. They can only do this after the date stated in the notice.
Step 3: Bailiff
If you have not left on the date the possession order says you should, the landlord must then arrange for a county court bailiff to evict you. You can only be evicted by bailiffs with an eviction warrant. If anyone tries to force you to leave your home without following this process, it is likely to be an illegal eviction.
Grounds for eviction: ‘absolute grounds’
Your landlord may be able to end your periodic standard contract by using ‘absolute grounds’ (sometimes referred as ‘mandatory grounds’). This means that if the landlord follows the correct procedure the court has to grant a possession order. These grounds are:
- ‘no fault’ eviction (known as a ‘section 173’ notice)
- serious rent arrears of 2 months or more (known as a ‘section 181’ notice).
You should check your contract to see if it allows the landlord to give a ‘no fault’ or a serious rent arrears notice. If it doesn’t, then the landlord can’t end your contract using these grounds.
Restrictions on using the ‘no fault’ notice procedure
Your landlord cannot give you a ‘no fault’ (or section 173) notice to evict you if any of the following applies:
- your landlord is not registered with Rent Smart Wales, or hasn’t obtained a licence or appointed a licensed agent. You can check the Rent Smart Wales public register to see if your landlord or agent is registered and licensed.
- your landlord has not protected your deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme and given you certain prescribed information within 30 days.
- your landlord or agent has charged a banned letting fee and has not repaid it to you, or has failed to give back a returnable holding fee.
- you’ve not received a written contract within 14 days of the contract starting. Your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice until 6 months after providing the written contract
- you’ve not received an address that you can send correspondence to
- you’ve not been given a valid energy performance certificate (EPC)
- your landlord hasn’t provided working smoke and (where needed) carbon monoxide alarms in your home
- your landlord hasn’t provided a current electrical installation condition report (EICR)
- your landlord hasn’t provided a current gas safety report
- a previous possession claim was thrown out by the court less than 6 months ago as it was a retaliatory eviction. This means that the landlord was trying to evict you to avoid doing repairs or making the property fit to live in.
- it is less than 6 months since a ‘no fault’ section 173 notice was withdrawn by the landlord (unless the new notice was given within 28 days of the withdrawn notice)
If you have received a ‘no fault’ notice and any of the above apply, then get help.
PLEASE NOTE these restrictions may not apply, or may apply differently, if you have a converted periodic standard contract.
How much notice will I get?
‘No fault’ notice
If your landlord is evicting you using the ‘no fault’ (section 173) procedure, you should get 6 months’ notice. Court action can only begin after the notice period has ended.
Your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice less than 6 months after you moved into your home.
After giving you a ‘no fault’ notice your landlord has 2 months after the end of the notice period to begin court action. If the landlord doesn’t make a possession claim within those 2 months, then they cannot give you another ‘no fault’ notice for a further 6 months.
Serious rent arrears notice
If your landlord is evicting you because of serious rent arrears your landlord can give 2 weeks’ notice before they begin court action.
Your landlord has 6 months from the day notice was given to begin court action.
How the court makes a decision
‘No fault’ (section 173) eviction
If your landlord is using the section 173 ‘no fault’ eviction procedure, then the court must grant a possession order to the landlord providing they have followed the procedure and given you all the required information when you moved in.
If you think the landlord is evicting you rather than carrying out repairs or ensuring your home is fit to live in, the court may decide it is not reasonable to allow your landlord to evict you. This is known as retaliatory eviction. Your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice for 6 months following the court’s decision to dismiss the claim for this reason.
You may not be given a hearing if the landlord is using the ‘no fault’ eviction procedure. However, the court papers you receive should give you the opportunity to say if you don’t think the landlord has followed the correct procedure, or if you think it’s a retaliatory eviction. Depending on the circumstances, the court may then decide a hearing is appropriate.
Serious rent arrears
If your landlord is evicting you for serious rent arrears, the court has to grant a possession order if you are in 2 months arrears on the day you were given notice and on the day of the hearing. If you are not in serious rent arrears on one of these days the court may decide not to evict you.
If your landlord applies to court, the papers you receive from the court should give you the opportunity to say if you don’t think the landlord has followed the correct notice procedure. You can also notify the court if you think there has been a mistake in calculating rent arrears or if there are issues with claiming housing benefit or universal credit.
For information about the different decisions the court can make, see here.
Grounds for eviction: ‘discretionary grounds’
In some circumstances your landlord might choose to evict you using specific reasons. These reasons are known as ‘discretionary’ grounds. There are 2 types of discretionary grounds:
Breach of contract
If you have broken any terms of your contract, your landlord might be able to evict you. Breaches of contract could include:
- rent arrears (you may be able to get debt advice from the ‘Breathing space’ scheme)
- subletting part or all of the property without permission
- behaving antisocially
Estate management grounds
Examples of estate management grounds include:
- if the landlord is carrying out building or redevelopment work
- if the property is specially adapted and is needed to house someone with needs suited to the property
How much notice will I get?
If your landlord is evicting you for breach of contract or estate management grounds, you will usually get 1 months’ notice before your landlord can start court action.
However, if the landlord is evicting you for antisocial behaviour they can begin court action as soon as they have given you notice.
If your landlord is evicting you because you have inherited the contract and the home is larger than you need, then they cannot serve notice until 6 months after they found out about the death of the contract-holder. Once 12 months have passed they cannot give notice using this ground.
If your landlord is evicting you because a joint contract-holder has left the contract and the home is larger than you need, they must serve notice within 6 months of the joint contract-holder leaving the contract.
After giving you notice your landlord has 6 months to begin court action.
Always get help if you receive a notice. An adviser can check if the notice is correct and may be able to help you keep your home.
How the court makes a decision
If your landlord is evicting you using a ‘ground’, the court can only decide to evict you if the landlord proves the ground and it is reasonable to evict you. If the ground is an estate management ground, then the landlord must also show the court that they are making suitable alternative accommodation available for you. For information about the different decisions the court can make, see here.
Get help if you are facing eviction
Get help now if you’re facing eviction. An adviser can check if the notice is correct and may be able to help you negotiate with your landlord or represent you in court. Have the papers you received from the court or your landlord with you when you speak to an adviser.
If you are at risk of losing your home you should contact your local council to make a homelessness application.