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. Assured Shorthold Tenancies were created to make it more profitable for landlords to let out their properties and easier for them to evict their tenants.
GMLC believes that the law urgently needs to change to bring fairness to the private rented sector. We proud to campaign with GM Tenants Union, Manchester ACORN and others to fight for a fairer housing sector. If you’re a tenant in private rented or social housing sectors, you may wish to join one of these tenants’ unions for advice, support and to get involved in campaigning. For more information, see our housing campaigns page here.
We believe tenants are better equipped if they know what rights they have and how they can enforce them.
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 are facing eviction or homelessness and need advice about your rights as a private renter please contact us:
Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC)
669 Stockport Road
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
New or general enquiries: Monday to Thursday 10am-3pm
Fridays for appointments only
Phone 0161 769 2244
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 (e.g. because the tenant has deliberately failed to pay the rent or has damaged the property) but sometimes landlords serve Notice for unfair reasons (e.g. 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. Use our Section 21 checklist below to check if your Notice is valid.
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.
COVID-19: Is your Section 21 Notice valid?
We know there’s a lot of uncertainty and confusion right now and we want to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible.
So if you’re a private tenant and have been served with a Section 21 Eviction Notice by your landlord – don’t panic. Click here to use our Section 21 checklist and work out if your notice is valid.
If you need further help please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 7692244.
The Warrant Stage
If the court has made an Outright Possession Order or a Suspended Possession Order (and your landlord says you have not kept to the terms of the order), then your landlord can apply to the court for a warrant for your eviction. At least two weeks before the eviction date you will receive a Notice of Eviction from the court with a date and time that the bailiffs will attend. It is still not too late to get advice. In many cases, the court has the power to suspend the eviction right up to the time the bailiffs change the locks and if not other organisations may still be able to help [link to GM Tenants Union and Acorn for eviction resistance]. Even after the eviction, if you have been made a false promise or been misled by your landlord or someone else, it can be possible to challenge the eviction and get back into your home.
What if I’m not an assured shorthold tenant?
If you are a lodger, living in homeless temporary accommodation (before receiving a full homeless duty decision) or in shared accommodation and have signed a licence agreement, then your landlord may be able to evict you lawfully without getting a court order and a warrant for eviction from court bailiffs. The law is complicated, but it doesn’t mean that you have no rights. If you receive Notice or are asked to leave, get urgent advice – and remember, it is a criminal offence for a landlord to use or threaten violence against you or your property in order to get into your home.
For information for homeless people and social housing tenants, please click on the relevant icon: