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You cannot be evicted for suing your landlord if you rent from a local council or housing association. Currently, those renting from private landlords may be evicted without reason via a Section 21 notice.
All tenants can be evicted for breaching the terms of the tenancy, which is why you should always pay your rent – even if you are living with a housing disrepair.
Housing disrepair solicitors – England and Wales
Can I be evicted for making a housing disrepair?
If you are thinking about suing your landlord for a housing disrepair, then you might have one major concern: that your landlord will retaliate and evict you. Living with a housing disrepair is distressing, but you might face even greater problems if your landlord gives you notice. Although your current rental property might not be perfect, it is at least a roof over your head.
So, can you be evicted for making a housing disrepair?
It really depends on what type of tenant you are. The rules differ depending on whether you rent from a local council/social housing association, or from a private landlord.
You rent from a local council or social housing association
If you rent a council property or social housing, then you cannot be evicted unless you have broken the terms of the tenancy. This means you will not be evicted simply for making a housing disrepair claim.
However, if you have broken the terms of the tenancy, then your landlord has grounds to evict you. This is done through a Section 8 notice. Often where a housing disrepair is concerned, the tenant chooses to stop paying their rent. They feel they should not be paying to live in a property that is unfit for human habitation. While this is understandable, it is very problematic because it gives your landlord cause to evict you. That is why you must always pay your rent (and adhere to the other terms of the Tenancy Agreement) even if you have a housing disrepair.
You rent from a private landlord
If you rent from a private landlord, then you could be evicted, even if you have done nothing wrong. This is possible under a Section 21 notice, which are often called ‘no-fault evictions’. A landlord can only issue a Section 21 notice if:
- Your fixed term tenancy has ended and there’s a written contract; or
- You’re on a periodic tenancy, meaning it has no fixed end date
You must be given a certain amount of notice when served with a Section 21 notice. Normally this is two months, but it has been subject to change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In England, a Section 21 notice might not be valid if your landlord has broken the rules in any way, such as:
- Failing to get an HMO licence for a house of multiple occupation
- Not putting your deposit in an approved deposit protection scheme, if your tenancy started after April 2007
- Not repaying any unlawful fees or deposits charged to you as the tenant
There are also other situations in which a landlord is not allowed to serve a Section 21 notice, including if:
- It is less than four months since the tenancy started, or the fixed term has not ended (unless there is a clause stating otherwise)
- The council has served an improvement notice in the last six months, or an emergency works notice
- The landlord has not used form 6a or a letter with all the same information on it and the tenancy started after October 2015
The existence of Section 21 notices means that your landlord could decide to evict you if you pursue a housing disrepair claim – but also, they might not.
Will Section 21 notices be abolished?
However, the government has announced its intention to abolish Section 21 notices. This was set out in the Renters’ Reform Bill in 2019, which has been delayed due to the pandemic. Further information will be released in 2022 as to the proposals going forward. This could completely change the outlook for those renting from private landlords. If the laws regarding no-fault evictions are repealed, then your landlord could not evict you for making a housing disrepair claim (unless you have broken the terms of the tenancy).
Discuss your concerns with us
If you want to make a housing disrepair claim but you are concerned that you could be evicted, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We can explain the law in more detail, helping you understand whether you could be at risk of eviction. All initial enquiries are free of charge.
As outlined above, those who rent from local councils and social housing associations have nothing to be worried about: you cannot be evicted just for making a housing disrepair claim. You can only be evicted if you have breached the terms of the tenancy in some way, such as not paying your rent.
Those who rent from private landlords are in a more vulnerable position, although it is not a forgone conclusion that your landlord will issue a Section 21 notice. There are also plenty of situations when a private landlord is barred from pursuing a no-fault eviction. Furthermore, such evictions may be abolished in the years to come, meaning the contents of this article may be out of date. Therefore, it is always worth clarifying your legal position. We offer free claim assessments, so you can get expert legal advice without having to worry about the cost.
Currently, we are only able to act for tenants who rent from housing associations or councils.
Do you have a housing disrepair claim? Find out now
If you are living in poor housing conditions and your housing association or council has failed to do anything about it, you could have grounds for a housing disrepair claim. Contact our housing disrepair solicitors for a free claim assessment.