Information for tenants

4. Harassment and eviction by landlords

Your landlord must follow strict procedures if they want you to leave their property. They may be guilty of illegally evicting or harassing you if they do not follow the relevant procedures.

For information about harassment by a landlord and illegal evictions, including the correct eviction process which should be followed by your landlord, visit Shelter's website.

You can report your landlord for alleged illegal eviction or harassment using the online form below. By contacting us online your report will go directly to a case officer who will be able to help you.

Report an illegal eviction or harassment

You can also email

Eviction process and section 21 advice

You can check what type of tenancy you have using the tenancy checker on the Shelter website.

If you’ve been asked to leave your property under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

A section 21 notice is the form your landlord must give you to start the process of ending your assured shorthold tenancy. It gives you notice to leave your home.

A section 21 notice is often called a ‘no fault possession’. This is because the landlord is not seeking possession because they say you have done something wrong, they just want their property back. As long as the landlord follows the correct procedure, they are entitled to take possession of the property.

The landlord must take certain steps if they want to issue a section 21 notice. If they do not, the notice is invalid and cannot be used. If you receive a section 21 notice it’s important to take action as early as possible. There’s advice and support available that could help prevent you becoming homeless.

How to get help

We have a team of specialist advisors who can advise you about whether or not a notice is valid. We can sometimes help you to negotiate with your landlord or address other issues, such as rent arrears, which may have led to the section 21 notice being served.

You can call our homelessness prevention team on 0161 217 6016 and they can assess how much help can be offered. You should contact us as early as possible to make sure you’re better protected and advised.

Deposits and section 21 notices

If you’ve paid a deposit, the landlord needs to have protected this with one of 3 authorised schemes within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

You can check if your deposit has been protected by visiting the following websites:

If your landlord has not protected your deposit, they cannot use a section 21 notice unless they return the deposit to you to your satisfaction. This could be done in a number of ways. For example, with your permission, it could be used to pay the rent.

Any section 21 notice served before the agreed return of your unprotected deposit will not be valid.

If your tenancy started before 1 October 2015

The landlord has to serve a section 21 notice that gives you at least 2 months’ notice and states that it’s a section 21 notice under the Housing Act 1988.

The notice also cannot be served within the first 4 months of your tenancy and any notice is only valid for 6 months.

If your tenancy started after 1 October 2015

There are additional conditions for tenancies which started after this date. When your tenancy began, the landlord must have given you a:

  • gas safety certificate
  • electrical installation condition report (EICR)
  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • ‘How to Rent’ booklet

If the landlord did not do this, they cannot issue a section 21 notice.

A landlord also cannot serve a section 21 notice within 6 months of receiving an improvement notice from the local authority.

Whenever your tenancy started, if the landlord has served the correct notice and protected your deposit, or returned it to your satisfaction, they will eventually be able to apply to Court for a possession order. However, it’s still worth negotiating with your landlord and support is available to help you do this.