Ways your tenancy could end

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) can end in one of three ways:

  • by mutual agreement
  • you may hand in your notice. This usually needs to be one month, in-line with the rental payments and not expiring before the end of a fixed term
  • your landlord serves a valid notice. The form of the notice will depend on the reason the landlord is asking you to leave

If you are an assured tenant, a housing association or council tenant, your landlord can only evict you if you have broken a term of the tenancy.

What is a valid notice to quit?

There are a number of grounds when a landlord can serve a notice. The most common are:

Section 8

Ground 8: Arrears of least two months or eight weeks rent. If rent is unpaid when the Section 8 notice is served and remains unpaid at the time of the hearing for a possession order, the judge has no option other than to grant an order for possession. If the arrears fall below the two months or eight weeks, the possession action will fail.

  • Ground 10: Covers any amount of arrears of rent outstanding
  • Ground 11: Persistently late payment of rent.

Grounds 10 and 11 are discretionary. The judge may find in favour of the landlord or the tenant, depending on the arguments raised. Landlords may serve these grounds alongside Ground 8.

Section 21

A landlord can serve a Section 21 notice without having to give a reason to the tenant. The notice cannot end prior to the end of a fixed term and cannot take effect until at least six months after you move in. A valid notice requires that the landlord gives you at least two months’ notice to leave.

There are strict rules regarding what constitutes a correct section 21 notice. If you have been served one, you should contact the Housing Services team for advice immediately. An order for possession must be granted if the court is satisfied that:

  • the tenancy is a valid assured shorthold
  • the correct notice has been given
  • the fixed term has expired
  • no further assured tenancy is in existence

You do not have to leave the property once a notice has expired. You have the right to remain in the property until the landlord applies to the court for a possession order and a bailiffs’ warrant. You need to be aware that there are costs involved with this and if the issues with the tenancy cannot be resolved, you should look to find alternative accommodation.

Your landlord may try to reclaim the court costs for this action from you.

Other types of tenancies

If you have a resident landlord and share living accommodation, you are a licensee and you have very few rights against eviction. You would still be entitled to reasonable notice, usually 28 days but your landlord does not need to get a court order.

If you moved into the property before 15 January 1989 you may be a regulated tenant and you have strong rights against eviction and rent increases.

What if my landlord harasses me or tries to illegally evict me?

If you have a resident landlord and share living accommodation, you are a licensee and you have very few rights against eviction. You would still be entitled to reasonable notice, usually 28 days but your landlord does not need to get a court order.

If you moved into the property before 15 January 1989 you may be a regulated tenant and you have strong rights against eviction and rent increases.

If your landlord tries to evict you without applying to court, or makes it difficult for you to remain there, such as harasses you to leave, or withdraws essential services such as gas, water or electricity, they may be breaking the law. The council has a power to prosecute landlords who harass tenants. It is important that you contact us if your landlord harasses you or threatens to illegally evict you.

Further information can be found on our Problems with private landlords webpage if you are having problem with your private landlord.

For further information on privately renting please take a look at the GOV.UK website.

Rent arrears

If you have problems paying your rent contact your Landlord in the first instance.

If you are worried you may lose your property, please contact HPOS@basingstoke.gov.uk

Speak up if you are struggling. Don’t let rent arrears build up, get help straight away.

How to deal with rent arrears - Shelter England

Contact details

If you need some advice about privately renting email the Private Rent team

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