If you are a housing association or council housing tenant, evictions should only be used as a last resort. There must be a legal ground for eviction, and this step is usually reserved for cases of significant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.
Note: Additional protections are also in place during the period of Covid-19 restrictions, when they are generally prohibited except in a very limited range of circumstances. Further information on the latest position can be accessed here.
Circumstances when an eviction may take place
The usual circumstances which might initiate a landlord in the regulated housing sector commencing legal steps to evict you from your home are:
- Rent arrears
- Antisocial behaviour
The process may also be commenced if you inherit your tenancy from another person.
Stages of the legal eviction process
There are generally four steps involved in the formal eviction process, as follows:
- Landlord issues a formal notice
- Landlord commences possession proceedings with the court
- The court hearing is held to decide whether possession is to be granted to your landlord
- Bailiffs are instructed to evict you, only where this has been ordered by a court.
What to do if you receive a formal eviction notice
If you are facing a possible eviction from your home, we encourage all tenants to not ignore a formal notice if you receive one. You should try to come to an agreement with your landlord to stop matters escalating further, since eviction should only be used as a last resort. If you engage with your landlord, they should at least pause proceedings whilst they explore options, such as mediation in the case of antisocial behaviour or a repayment plan to clear rent arrears over a period of time.
If the date in your notice elapses and formal court action against you is commenced (receipt of an N5 claim form and an N11R defence form) we would encourage you to seek formal legal advice.
Further additional information and advice on the eviction process is provided by Shelter here.