Know your rights when leaving a home and how to protect yourself.


If you are a lodger, the information in this section does not apply to you.

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, be considerate to neighbours, don't take in a lodger 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 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, i.e.:

  • a section 21 notice of at least two months’ duration – when the fixed term tenancy period has ended and the landlord does not have to give a reason for eviction, or
  • a section 8 notice of at least two weeks’ notice (and sometimes more) – at any time during the tenancy, but only for a limited number of legally allowable reasons - for example rent arrears or antisocial behaviour.

Your landlord can issue both types of eviction notice at the same time. After any notice has expired, 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. This is likely to be hundreds of pounds.

Cambridge House, a local charity, offer Safer Renting, an established service providing direct specialist advice and support for tenants and victims of landlords.

During the COVID pandemic, different rules apply to evictions. These rules are changing frequently, so please refer to Shelter guidance for the most up-to-date coronavirus advice.