Guide

If you're being evicted – private tenant

Last updated: 17 May 2018

Grounds for eviction (private residential tenancies)

If you have a private residential tenancy, your landlord can only evict you if one or more of the 18 grounds (reasons) for eviction apply.

The Notice to Leave your landlord gave you will tell you the ground (or grounds) being used. The grounds are split into two categories – mandatory grounds and discretionary grounds.

Mandatory grounds

A mandatory ground means that if the Tribunal agrees that the ground exists, you must leave the property no matter what your argument is.

1. Landlord intends to sell the let property

This ground applies if your landlord plans on putting the property up for sale within three months of you moving out.

They'll need evidence to prove it – this could include a letter from a solicitor or an estate agent, or a recent home report for the property.

2. Let property to be sold by lender

This ground applies if your landlord's mortgage lender wants to repossess the property and sell it.

3. Landlord intends to refurbish the let property

This ground applies if your landlord wants to carry out major works to the let property that are so disruptive you wouldn't be able to live there at the same time.

Examples of evidence could include planning permission, or a contract between your landlord and an architect or a builder for the work to be carried out.

4. Landlord intends to live in the let property

This ground applies if your landlord wants you to move out of the property so they can move in.

Evidence could include an affidavit (a written statement, signed under oath in the presence of a Notary Public or a Justice of the Peace, that can be used as evidence at the Tribunal) saying this is what they are going to do.

5. Landlord intends to use the let property for non-residential purpose

This ground applies if your landlord wants you to move out so they can use the property for something other than a home.

Evidence could include planning permission that will let them use the property for a different purpose.

6. Let property required for religious worker

This ground applies if the property is held to be available for someone who has a religious job (like a priest, nun, monk, imam, lay missionary, minister, rabbi or something similar).

The ground only works if the property has been used for this purpose before.

7. Tenant has a relevant criminal conviction

This ground applies if you're convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment that involved you either:

  • using the property for illegal reasons
  • letting someone use the property for illegal reasons
  • committing a crime within or near the property

Your landlord has to apply to the Tribunal within a year of you being convicted, unless they have a reasonable excuse for not applying before then.

8. Tenant is no longer occupying the let property

This ground applies if the property isn't being used as your main or only home.

This doesn't count if your landlord failed their duty to keep the property in good repair and you had to move out for your own safety.

Discretionary grounds

A discretionary ground means that even if the Tribunal agrees that the ground exists, it still has to decide whether it is reasonable to issue an eviction order.

9. Landlord's family member intends to live in the let property

This ground applies if a member of your landlord's family plans to move into the property as their only or main home for at least three months.

Members of your landlord's family who qualify for this are:

  • their spouse
  • their civil partner
  • someone living with them as though they were married to them
  • a parent or grandparent
  • a child or grandchild
  • a brother or sister
  • step or half relatives (like a stepson or half-sister)
  • a person being treated as someone's child even if they aren't related biologically or legally
  • any family member (as listed above) of your landlord's spouse, civil partner or person living with them as though they were married
  • the spouse or civil partner of any family members listed above, or someone living with them as though they were married

Your landlord will need evidence for this ground. This could include an affidavit stating that this is what their family member intends to do.

10. Tenant no longer needs supported accommodation

This ground applies if you moved into the property because you had a need for community care and you've since been assessed as no longer having that need.

11. Tenant has breached a term of the tenancy agreement

This ground applies if you haven't complied with one of the terms of tenancy.

This doesn't apply to cases where you haven't paid your rent (known as 'rent arrears') – there's a separate ground for this.

12. Tenant has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour

This ground applies if you've behaved in an antisocial way to another person, by doing something which either:

  • causes them alarm or distress
  • is a nuisance or annoyance
  • is considered harassment

The First-tier Tribunal will consider the behaviour, who it involved and where it occurred to decide whether to issue an eviction order.

To use this ground, your landlord has to apply to the Tribunal within a year of the behaviour taking place, unless they have a reasonable excuse.

13. Tenant has associated in the let property with someone who has a criminal conviction or is antisocial

This ground applies if you allow someone into the property and they behave in an antisocial way that would have them evicted if they were the tenant.

This person could be:

  • a sub-tenant
  • your lodger
  • someone you let into the property on more than one occasion

To use this ground, your landlord has to apply to the Tribunal within a year of the conviction or behaviour taking place, unless they have a reasonable excuse.

  1. Landlord has had their registration refused or revoked This ground applies if your landlord isn't registered as a landlord in the local council area where the property is located.

This could be because the local council has either:

  • refused to enter them in the register
  • removed them from the register

15. Landlord's HMO licence has been revoked

This ground applies if the HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) licence for the property has been removed and keeping all the tenants in the property would no longer be legal.

16. An overcrowding statutory notice has been served on the landlord

This ground applies if an 'overcrowding statutory notice' has been served on your landlord because the property is overcrowded to the extent that it may affect the health of the people living there.

Grounds which could be mandatory or discretionary

The final two grounds can be either mandatory or discretionary, depending on the circumstances of the case.

17. Tenant is in rent arrears over three consecutive months

This ground applies if you've been in 'rent arrears' (owed rent payments) for three or more months in a row.

If you still owe at least a month's rent by the first day of the Tribunal hearing, the ground is mandatory and the Tribunal must issue an eviction order. The Tribunal must also be satisfied that the arrears were not due to a delay or failure in the payment of a relevant benefit.

If you owe less than a month's rent (or are no longer in arrears) by the first day of the Tribunal hearing, the ground is discretionary and the Tribunal will decide whether it is reasonable to issue an eviction order.

In deciding whether it is reasonable to evict, the Tribunal will consider whether you being in arrears is due to a delay or failure in the payment of a relevant benefit.

18. Tenant has stopped being (or has failed to become) an employee

This ground applies if your landlord let you move in because you were their employee (or were going to be one), and now you aren't.

The First-tier Tribunal will have to give an eviction order if either:

  • your landlord applies within 12 months of you no longer being an employee
  • you never became an employee and your landlord applies within 12 months of the tenancy starting

The Tribunal will be able to decide whether to give an eviction order if:

  • your landlord applies on or after the date 12 months after you stopped being an employee
  • you never became an employee but your landlord applies on or after the date 12 months after the tenancy started
If you're being evicted – private tenant
Grounds for eviction (private residential tenancies)