If you rent your home from a private landlord (and you do not live with your landlord or a member of their family), and your tenancy began after 1997 then you are likely to be an Assured Shorthold Tenant.

This form of tenancy was created in 1989, but became the standard of tenancy for all private renters from February 1997. Before 1989 there were lots of regulations that put caps on rent and gave tenants security of tenure (meaning generally, as long as tenants paid their rent and kept to the rules of their tenancy agreement they could stay in their homes indefinitely).

In an attempt to encourage more property owners to rent out their spare properties, the government decided to remove the regulations and to make it easier for landlords to charge higher rents and to evict tenants, even where a tenant had done nothing wrong and had been given no prior warning that the landlord may want the property back.

They did this by creating and rolling out the Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

Whilst we hope the information on this page is useful and helps private renters better access their rights – it is no substitute for legal advice.

If you are in Greater Manchester and need advice about your rights as a private renter, or help to enforce them please contact us:

Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC)

159 Princess Road
Moss Side
Manchester
M14 4RE

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
New or general enquiries: Monday to Thursday 10am-3pm
Fridays for appointments only

Contact information

Phone 0161 769 2244
Email reception@gmlaw.org.uk

On our Contact page, you will find a map with location of our premises and travel information.

If we cannot help you with your problem we will try to give you more information and refer you to an organisation who can.

The Section 21 Notice and Eviction Procedure

The key features of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy are that it has a short fixed term (usually 6  months unless the tenancy agreement says longer) and, after the fixed term, a landlord can apply to the court to evict a tenant simply by serving a valid 2 months Section 21 Notice. Sometimes landlords serve this Notice for fair reasons (eg because the tenant has deliberately failed to pay the rent or has damaged the property) but sometimes landlords serve Notice for bad reasons (eg because the tenant has complained about repairs or refused to agree rent rise that they cannot afford).

Even if the landlord’s decision to evict a tenant is unfair and will have terrible consequence for the tenant and their family, if the landlord has served a valid Notice and has completed all their court paper work correctly then the court will generally have no option but to make a possession order against the tenant.

The Section 8 Notice and Eviction Procedure

In addition to using the Section 21 Notice and Assured Shorthold Possession Procedure, landlords can also decide to use a different procedure using a Section 8 Notice and Assured Possession Procedure. Landlords do this if they can prove a ground (reason) for possession and they want to evict you during the fixed term of your Tenancy, if they want to give you a shorter notice period or if they are unable to serve you with a valid Section 21 Notice.

Greater Manchester Law Centre believes that in order to ensure fairness to private renters, to improve the housing conditions of private rented accommodation, and to stop rents rising to even more unaffordable levels the law needs to change, so as to give back to tenants some of the rights that they had in the past and that may other countries guarantee.

Until then it is very important that tenants know and use the rights that they have when faced with the threat of eviction from their private rented accommodation.

For information for homeless people and social housing tenants, please click on the relevant icon:

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