Section 21 - Notice Requiring Possession of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Under the Housing Act 1988, a landlord who has granted an assured shorthold tenancy has a legal right to get his or her property back at the end of the tenancy. In order to invoke this right, he or she is required to follow the correct legal procedure which includes service of a notice (under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988) on his or her tenant.

Under Section 21 your landlord must give you a minimum of two months' notice in writing that they want possession of the property. Extra days should be added if the notice is to be sent by post as the two months starts when you receive the notice.

You are expected to leave the property by the end of the notice period. If you don't, your landlord can apply to the County Court for a possession order. If this happens you are then expected to leave by the date specified on the possession order. If you don't, your landlord can apply to the court for a warrant to evict and the court will then arrange for bailiffs to evict you.

If your landlord tries to evict you him or herself, or harass you to make you leave, your landlord may be committing a criminal offence. You have a legal right to stay in the property until the court bailiff evicts you. However, the landlord may claim the cost of any court action from you.

Please contact the Housing Advice Service using the details in 'Contact This Service' above if your landlord threatens to evict you without going through these legal steps.

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