This guide will point you in the right direction when you think you’re being evicted.

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We will ask you a few questions. The questions will help you work out if you have to leave your rented property in England or Wales and when you may need to do so.

If we think there is a risk you will be evicted soon, we will tell you where you can get more information and help.

When you use this tool, it will help if you have your tenancy agreement and any letters from your landlord. If you don’t have them, don’t worry. 

eviction_intro

At the moment, this guide can only help you if the landlord is not evicting you because

  • you haven’t paid your rent, 
  • damaged the property, 
  • been involved in criminal or anti-social behaviour, or
  • broken your agreement with them.
Has your landlord told you to leave?
eviction chat notice_1

In order to evict you, your Landlord must write to you to let you know when you are expected to leave.

The amount of notice they must give you depends on the agreement you have, how long you have been there and how often you pay rent.

eviction_chat_notice_2

A Formal Notice might be called an eviction notice, notice to quit or a notice seeking possession. It might also be a Section 21 Notice, Section 83 or a Section 8 Notice, as these are the names of the related sections in the Act of Parliament that created it.

The "notices" are formal documents and will look similar. Would you like to see some examples?

viction_chat_notice_3

Here you go! The notice should look a bit like this and show the same information.

View documents of gov.uk

Have you been told in writing?
Your landlord is definitely trying to evict you
Your landlord is definitely trying to evict you. I need to ask you a few more questions to see if I can get an idea of how soon they want you out.
No in order to evict you

In order to evict you, your landlord must write to you to let you know when you are expected to leave.

The amount of time they must give you depends on the agreement you have with them, how long you've been there and how often you pay rent.

eviction_chat_2a_explain_notice
Have you had any papers from the court?
The court may have sent you various items including a defence form, the date of a court hearing or evidence from your landlord. If your landlord is using what is known as the "Accelerated Procedure", there will not be a hearing and the court can make an order on the landlords’ papers. It is really important that you don’t ignore those papers.
It's really important to know you only have 14 days from receiving this to challenge it
It's really important to know that you only have 14 days to challenge it. I'd like to ask you one more question.
Have you had an eviction warrant from a bailiff or an enforcement officer?

This is a document from the court. It will let you know when you will be evicted. The document is called Form N54.

Download an example here.

It looks the process may have been going on for a while
It looks like the process may have been going on for a while. We suggest your next step is to urgently speak to a legal professional, who may be able to help.
It looks like the process urgent
It looks like the process may have been going on for a while. We suggest your next step is to urgently speak to a legal professional, who may be able to help you challenge the court order. This must be straight away, as there are only 14 days from when you got the papers to challenge them.
When did you sign your most recent tenancy agreement?
A "Tenancy" is the agreement you have with your landlord that allows you to live at the property you are being evicted from. You may have signed this when you first moved in. Your landlord might have asked you to sign a new copy when the previous one expired.
Have you been given a document showing the information listed here?
You should have received a document called Form 6A which must

  • be signed and dated by the landlord,
  • show the name of the tenant,
  • show the address of the property, and
  • show the date you must leave (eviction date).
If you can't remember when you moved in
If you can't remember when you moved in and you're not sure it's been this long, you could check on bank statements, rent books or your tenancy agreement.
The form needs to have the right information for it to be legal
The form needs to have the right information for it to be legal. Let your landlord know they haven't filled this in correctly and get some expert help.
Form 6A example

It doesn't need to look exactly like this. You can download an example from gov.uk.

Something's wrong not 2 months notice
It looks like something may be wrong with the dates, as you may not have been given adequate notice. If you pay rent at least once a month, then it must be at least two months in the future unless your contract says something different.
The document is probably no longer valid
The document is probably no longer valid. Your landlord may have to start the process again with a new notice.
If you can't remember when you moved in and you're not sure how long it has been, you could check bank statements, rent books or your tenancy agreement.
eviction_chat_6_too_soon
It looks like something may be wrong with the dates, as it has not been four months since the agreement started.
Are you within a fixed-term contract?
This should be shown on your tenancy agreement.
When does it end?
eviction_chat_7_beforefix

It looks like something might be wrong with the dates, as you may not have been given enough notice. The eviction date is before the end of the fixed term contract.

Check your original agreement for words that allow your landlord to evict you early. These words are called a "break clause".

Is your deposit held in a Deposit Protection Scheme?
eviction_chat_8_dps

Details of the scheme should have been included in the paperwork you received at the start of your tenancy. You should have also received information about the Tenancy deposit scheme.

If you're not sure, check with your landlord or their agent.

Here's an example document used by one organisation

Have you been given all of these documents?
eviction_chat_9_examples

Here are some examples of the documents you should have had. Check any you're not sure about:

When you're ready, just go back and answer the question: yes or no.

Have you complained to your landlord, council or local authority recently about the state of the property?
eviction_chat_10_complained
Recent valid complaints about the property may make it more difficult for the landlord to evict you. Take copies of your letters of complaint and any responses you've received to a legal advisor, who can help you.
Do you think you are being discriminated against?
eviction_chat_11_disabled
If you think that you are being evictied because of your race, gender, disability, sexuality or for any other reason, then you should speak to somebody in more detail.

Any time a landlord evicts a tenant, they must follow the rules, like filling in the right paperwork in the right way.  They can't make you leave without a Possession Order from the court and a Warrant for Eviction. And they can only do that after the date by which they said you had to leave when they wrote to you.

If your landlord tries to evict you without following the correct legal process, then the eviction could be unlawful.  You should contact your Local Authority if you think you are being evicted unlawfully. They can help you find out if you are, and could prosecute the landlord.

Even if you decide you are going to leave, don't leave before you have somewhere else to rent.

If at any point, you think you might not be able to get legal help as quickly as you need it, the following organisations may be able to help:

  • Shelter England | Cymru | Contact them them by phone or web chat, or in person in several cities.
  • Citizens Advice | Find your nearest Citizens Advice.
  • Law Centres Network | Law Centres offer face-to-face advice to members of their community. Find out if there's one near you.
  • Civil Legal Advice | You might be able to get free, confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid (in England and Wales).

Sometimes lawyers can help you understand your rights. They can represent you when speaking with your landlord to try to resolve the situation. 

You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to choose the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

When you contact somebody to get advice, try to have as much of following where you can refer to it or show somebody:

  • your tenancy agreement and any documents that came with it, including
    • the contract you signed,
    • information about your deposit,
    • the energy performance of the property (EPC),
    • an up-to-date gas safety certificate (if you have gas), and
    • the government's How to Rent guide.
  • the communication you have had from your landlord (or anybody else) to tell you that they want you to leave the property. This might include
    • the form telling you when to leave (Form 6A), and
    • any communication from your landlord's representatives.
  • any other correspondence (letters, email, voicemails, texts, etc. ) you have had that relates to your property.

Any time a landlord evicts a tenant, they must follow the rules, like filling in the right paperwork in the right way.  They can't make you leave without a Possession Order from the court and a Warrant for Eviction. They can only do that after the date by which they said you had to leave when they wrote to you.

Once they have written to you, the first step is to check they have followed the right rules for the type of tenancy you have. You won't have to leave straight away.

Even if you decide you are going to leave, don't leave before you have somewhere else to rent.

If, at any point, you think you might not be able to get legal help as quickly as you need it, the following organisations may be able to help:

  • Shelter England | Cymru | Contact them by phone or web chat, or in person in several cities.
  • Citizens Advice | Find your nearest Citizens Advice.
  • Law Centres Network | Law Centres offer face-to-face advice to members of their community. Find out if there's one near you.
  • Civil Legal Advice | You might be able to get free, confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid (in England and Wales).

Sometimes lawyers can help you understand your rights. They can represent you when speaking with your landlord to try to resolve the situation. 

You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to choose the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

When you contact somebody to get advice, try to have as much of following where you can refer to it or show somebody:

  • a copy of any paperwork from your landlord that says you can live in the property and any documents that came with it, and
  • any other correspondence, you have had from your landlord that relates to your tenancy.

It is possible the landlord is using what is called the section 8 procedure. This means the landlord can very quickly apply to a court to evict you. You then only have a short period of time to respond if you don't agree with the reason they want you to leave.

Even if you decide you are going to leave, don't leave before you have somewhere else to live.

It's important to get legal help quickly, especially if you feel you are not being treated fairly. Talk to one of the following organisations about what's happening :

  • Shelter England | Cymru | Contact them by phone or web chat, or in person in several cities.
  • Citizens Advice | Find your nearest Citizens Advice.
  • Law Centres Network | Law Centres offer face-to-face advice to members of their community. Find out if there's one near you.
  • Civil Legal Advice | You might be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid (in England and Wales).

Sometimes lawyers can help you to understand your rights. They can represent you when speaking with your landlord to try to resolve the situation. You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to choose the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

When you contact somebody to get advice, try to have as much of following where you can refer to it or show somebody:

  • a copy of any paperwork from your landlord that says you can live in the property and any documents that came with it, and
  • any other correspondence you have had from your landlord that relates to your tenancy.

You don't have very long, but don't leave your house until you have somewhere to rent.

Get legal help quickly to respond to anything you've been sent. The following organisations may be able to help:

  • Shelter England | Cymru | Content them by phone or web chat, or in person in several cities.
  • Citizens Advice | Find your nearest Citizens Advice.
  • Law Centres Network | Law Centres offer face-to-face advice to members of their community. Find out if there's one near you.
  • Civil Legal Advice | You might be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid (in England and Wales).

Sometimes lawyers can help you understand your rights. They can represent you when speaking with your landlord to try to resolve the situation. You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to find the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

When you contact somebody to get advice, try to have as much of following where you can refer to it or show somebody:

  • a copy of any paperwork from your landlord that says you can live in the property and any documents that came with it, and
  • any other correspondence, you have had from your landlord that relates to your tenancy.

Any time a landlord evicts tenants, they must follow the rules, like filling in the right paperwork in the right way. They can't make you leave without a possession order from the court and a warrant for eviction, and they can only do that after the date by which they said you had to leave when they wrote to you.

Even if you decide you are going to leave, don't do so before you have somewhere else to live. If, at any point, you think you might not be able to get legal help as quickly as you can, the following organisations may be able to help:

  • Shelter England | Cymru | Content them by phone or web chat, or in person in several cities.
  • Citizens Advice | Find your nearest Citizens Advice.
  • Law Centres Network | Law Centres offer face-to-face advice to members of their community. Find out if there's one near you.
  • Civil Legal Advice | You might be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid (in England and Wales).

Sometimes lawyers can help you to understand your rights in a particular situation.  They can represent you with your landlord to try to resolve the situation. You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to choose the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

When you go to see somebody, make sure you take the following:

  • a copy of your tenancy agreement, and
  • any documents, letters or emails you have about the eviction.

There are only a few companies that operate a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. If you're not sure, get in touch with them. This page on Shelter Englands website is helpful for tenants in both England and Wales.

If your landlord has failed to follow the rules and protect your deposit, then things have gotten complicated and you should get some advice.

If your landlord tries to evict you without following the correct legal process, then the eviction could be unlawful.  You should contact your Local Authority if you think you are being evicted unlawfully. They can help you work out if you are, and they could prosecute the landlord.

Even if you decide you are going to leave, don't leave before you have somewhere else to rent.

If, at any point, you think you might not be able to get legal help as quickly as you need it, the following organisations may be able to help:

  • Shelter England | Cymru | Content them by phone or web chat, or in person in several cities.
  • Citizens Advice | Find your nearest Citizens Advice.
  • Law Centres Network | Law Centres offer face-to-face advice to members of their community. Find out if there's one near you.
  • Civil Legal Advice | You might be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid (in England and Wales).

Sometimes lawyers can help you understand your rights. They can represent you when speaking with your landlord to try to resolve the situation. 

You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to choose the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

When you contact somebody to get advice, try to have as much of following where you can refer to it or show somebody:

  • your tenancy agreement and any documents that came with it, including
    • the contract you signed,
    • information about your deposit,
    • the energy performance of the property (EPC),
    • an up-to-date gas safety certificate (if you have gas),
    • the government's How to Rent guide,
  • the communication you have had from your landlord (or anybody else) to tell you that they want you to leave the property. This might include
    • the form telling you when you have to leave (Form 6A), and
    • any communication from your landlord's representatives,
  • any other correspondence (letters, email, voicemails, texts, etc.), you have had that relates to your property.

Discrimination is when one person treats another person differently because they are different or have different views to their own. It is illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants because of their race, gender, disability, sexuality or religion. If you feel your landlord is evicting you because of any of these reasons, speak to a legal expert.

If your landlord tries to evict you without following the correct legal process, then the eviction could be unlawful.  You should contact your Local Authority if you think you are being evicted unlawfully. They can help you work out if you are, and they could prosecute the landlord.

Even if you decide you are going to leave, don't leave before you have somewhere else to rent.

At any point, if you think you might not be able to get legal help as quickly as you need it, the following organisations may be able to help:

  • Shelter England | Cymru | Content them by phone or web chat, or in person in several cities.
  • Citizens Advice | Find your nearest Citizens Advice.
  • Law Centres Network | Law Centres offer face-to-face advice to members of their community. Find out if there's one near you.
  • Civil Legal Advice | You might be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid (in England and Wales).

Sometimes lawyers can help you understand your rights. They can represent you when speaking with your landlord to try to resolve the situation. 

You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to choose the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

When you contact somebody to get advice, try to have as much of following where you can refer to it or show somebody:

  • your tenancy agreement and any documents that came with it, including
    • the contract you signed,
    • information about your deposit,
    • the energy performance of the property (EPC),
    • an up-to-date gas safety certificate (if you have gas), and
    • the government's How to Rent guide,
  • the communication you have had from your landlord (or anybody else) to tell you that they want you to leave the property. This might include
    • the form telling you when you have to leave (Form 6A), and
    • any communication from your landlord's representatives,
  • any other correspondence (letters, email, voicemails, texts, etc. ) you have had about your property.