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Moving out

Update: The government has introduced a ban on evictions during the national emergency – no new possession or eviction proceedings are to start during the crisis. For more information visit the government’s website.                                                                


 

Landlords must follow a strict legal process if they want you to move out - and that process takes time.  If your landlord or agent wants you to move out, get immediate advice.


The best way to prevent your landlord asking you to leave is to be a good tenant, look after your home and pay the rent on time.

You might need to unblock a sink, change lightbulbs and clean windows. Simple day-to-day jobs are your responsibility, not your landlord’s.

Your tenancy agreement makes it a legal obligation for you to pay your rent on time.

If you are having difficulties paying the rent, get help as quickly as you can from one of the agencies signed up to the charter. You may well be entitled to housing benefit to help with the rent. 

You can claim housing benefit from the council.   


If your landlord lives in the same flat or house as you, and shares a bathroom, kitchen or living room with you, then you are a lodger. Lodgers have fewer rights than tenants, and the information on this page does not apply to you.

Please see here for further information:

Get advice if you are not sure whether or not you are a lodger.  For example, you are not a lodger if:

  • you live with a “head tenant” who collects the rent; or
  • your landlord moved in after you first moved in; or
  • your landlord keeps a room for themselves but does not live there.

Please note that lodgers have different rights to tenants, and the information on this page does not apply to you. Read our information for lodgers.

Ending your tenancy

There are strict rules a landlord or their agent must follow if they want a tenant to move out.  These rules apply whether or not there is a written tenancy agreement, and whether or not the fixed term has ended.  They apply even if the tenant has fallen behind with rent, or has in some other way broken the terms of the tenancy agreement.

The rules are complicated and depend on your situation. For detail, please see visit the Shelter website.

Eviction and harassment

Your landlord or their agent can never harass you or threaten you with violence.

A landlord can never evict their tenant – only a court can do that.

The law allows a landlord or their agent to ask a tenant to leave by serving the correct legal form of notice.  After this ends, if the tenant does not leave, the landlord can ask a court to order the tenant to leave. After this, the court can appoint bailiffs to evict a tenant. 

If your landlord has to go to court to evict you, they can ask the court to order you to pay the costs. These are likely to be hundreds of pounds.

Take action

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, or if your landlord is harassing or threatening you, get advice straight away from the council’s private housing advice service.

Find out if your landlord or agent has been convicted of housing offences.