What is the notice period for UK tenants and can you be evicted?

What is the notice period for UK tenants and can you be evicted?
What is the notice period for UK tenants and can you be evicted?
Renting rules have changed since the pandemic began (Picture: Nora Carol Photography via Getty)

Renting in the UK can be tricky to navigate for both tenants and landlords, with cases of tenants leaving homes filthy and landlords looking to let out questionable properties.

And with the new academic year beginning, the rental market has been filled with university students scurrying to find a place to rent.

However, since the pandemic began, the government imposed new rules for private tenancy agreements.

With restrictions gradually lifting, it’s important to know what your rights are if you’re renting.

Read on to discover exactly what your rights are if your landlord tries to give you the boot.

What happens if you’re asked to leave your rented home during the fixed term?

While you must eventually leave the home, your notice period can be anywhere up to six months before you are evicted.

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You can also only be asked to leave during the contract’s fixed term if:

  • You’re behind with your rent payments
  • The property has been used for illegal purposes
  • You’ve damaged the property

And due to Covid, your notice periods are longer than before.

Once your landlord has given you written notice of wanting the property back – ‘notice to quit’ – you’re given:

  • Two months to leave if they gave you notice prior to 26 March, 2020
  • Three months, if it was between 26 March and 28 August, 2020
  • Six months, if it was after 29 August, 2020
  • Four months, if it was after June 1, 2021

The notice must also mention the date you are required to leave.

There is an exception to this according to the government website: “You might have to leave much sooner if you’re evicted using a section 8 notice, depending on the reason for eviction.”

How much notice do I need to give if I want to end my tenancy before the end of a fixed term contract?

The simple answer is you are required to pay rent until the end of your fixed term as per the rental contract you would have signed.

However, you can check your contract to see if it has a break clause. This can be as early as six months into the contract, with one month’s notice.

Tenancy Agreement with keys
Check your tenancy contract thoroughly before signing (Picture: glegorly via Getty)

Some landlords will also allow you to leave your fixed term contract early if you agree on it with them directly. For example, if your personal circumstances change or you find a replacement tenant that they approve of.

When ending a fixed term contract that has come to an end, you should inform your landlord in writing, alerting them of the fact that you won’t be renewing your contract.

How much notice you need to give will depend on the type of tenancy you have, and what is in your tenancy agreement.

If you’re about to sign a contract for a rental property, thoroughly check it to see if it has a break clause. Some agents and landlords may agree to put one in place if you discuss this with them prior to signing.


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Author: Surena Chande