I’m in rent arrears! How long before my landlord can legally evict me? Benefits

If you are in rent arrears, it means you have missed one or more rent payments. If you fall into rent arrears, your landlord has the right to seek a court order to evict you.

There are different rules about how and when a landlord can evict you depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have.

When you start renting a property, you will sign a tenancy agreement. In this, you will agree with your landlord the amount of rent you will pay each month and when you will pay it. When you fall into rent arrears, you are effectively breaking this agreement.

How far behind on my rent can I get before eviction?

The law varies depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have with your landlord. But, generally, it states that a tenant has to be 8 weeks behind on rent (if paying weekly) or two months behind (if paying monthly). However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are behind on your rent in any form, it is advisable to seek support as soon as possible.

To start eviction proceedings, your landlord must follow a certain process. This is called seeking possession. They cannot just verbally tell you to leave, this is against the law.

What happens if you’re being evicted?

When a landlord takes steps to evict a tenant, they must follow the proper procedure specified in law. They must:

  • Give you a valid section 21 or section 8 notice;
  • Get a possession order from the court if you haven’t left by the date stated on the section 21 or section 8 notice;
  • Ask the court for a warrant of possession if you haven’t moved out by the date on the possession order;
  • Get an eviction warrant from the court. When this happens, bailiffs can come to your home and make you leave.

Get help and advice on rent arrears

If you are at a point where you think you may be unable to pay your rent, it is better to seek out support sooner or later. That being said, circumstances beyond your control may mean you find yourself in a situation where you are in rent arrears. If this is the case, there is help and support available to you and it’s important to connect with the correct services.

At Building Better Opportunities, we can help you manage your situation with a view to easing your finances. We do this through a whole package of support, whereby you work with one of our Advocates to understand your financial situation better and help you budget for the future.

If you need help and support regarding your financial situation, employment status, or health and wellbeing and you are a resident in Staffordshire or South Staffordshire – we can help! You can find us at a number of Drop-In sessions across the region, or you can give us a call on 01902 696 228 to speak with one of our Advocates.