Possession Action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Private landlords do not need a legal reason to evict you, but they must follow a series of procedures to do so. These procedures depend on the terms and type of tenancy agreement you have. For information on the possession procedure, visit the Citizens Advice website.

If you rent your home from the council, housing association, or Northern Ireland Housing Executive, they must also follow a procedure before attempting to evict you. The steps differ based on your circumstances and take into account if you are in rent arrears, are vulnerable or are claiming benefits. See Shelter's website to see where you can get help, or visit Housing Advice for assistance in Northern Ireland.

See more from Shelter:

What does my private landlord have to do to evict me?

Before you can be legally evicted, your landlord must:

  • Provide an official written notice of eviction.
  • Provide a court summons.
  • Have the eviction enforced by a bailiff with a valid court warrant.

If your landlord does not follow each of these steps, it may be an illegal eviction.

What does my social housing landlord need to evict me?

The steps your social landlord must follow before evicting you include:

  • Trying to come to an agreement to pay off what you owe.
  • Offering help for you to claim housing benefit.
  • Referring you to further help from Citizens Advice or a debt advice agency.

After they have performed all the steps, your social housing landlord may seek eviction if your situation has not improved.

Why would a landlord seek possession action?

Rent arrears is one of the most common causes for possession action. Antisocial behaviour, disrepair and harassment can also contribute.

How do I start possession action if I am the landlord?

You may be able to take possession action to have disruptive tenants removed from your property, which includes tenants who are not paying the rent or who have broken the tenancy agreement. Accelerated possession orders are also available if tenants have not left the property after the date specified in your original notice.

As a landlord, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities before seeking possession action. Find out more about your rights and responsibilities in England and Wales or Northern Ireland.

Who can help?

Veterans' Gateway - Access to Housing Advice

The Veterans' Housing Advice service, initially provided by the Cobseo group of charities, and delivered by The Royal British Legion, Connect Assist and Shelter, has now been merged into Veterans' Gateway. 

The team aim to support veterans in finding, securing or maintaining accommodation by utilising the skills and resources of the Cobseo Housing Cluster, local authority contacts and other housing providers. Information can be accessed by telephone, email, live chat, social media, and on the website by visiting Veterans' Gateway/Self Help/Housing.

For more information, contact:
Telephone: 0808 802 1212 (Freephone 24/7)
Email: Via contact form
Website: Veterans' Gateway/Self Help. Please select housing to see all options.

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