If your landlord asks you to leave
See at risk of homelessness for help and advice.
If you are threatened with homelessness
If you feel you may become homeless, email our Housing Advisory Service at email@example.com with your name, address, telephone number and a description of the help you need.
If you are at imminent risk of homelessness
If you are at risk of very soon becoming homeless, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, telephone number and a description of the help you need. Please make the subject heading of your email 'IMMINENT HOMELESSNESS'.
If you are homeless
If you are homeless, call 020 3821 1769 during office hours, and 020 8379 1000 out of hours.
What happens when a landlord asks me to leave?
To understand what happens next, you need to know what type of tenancy you have. Check your tenancy agreement (the papers that you signed when you first moved into your home) to see what type of tenancy you have. The most common tenancies are listed below. If you're not sure what type of tenancy you have, you can use the tenancy checker by visiting Shelter - What type of tenancy do you have?.
These are normally where you have a private landlord (not the council or a Housing Association) and the landlord does not live in the property. The landlord has to give you formal papers to say they want you to leave, which is called serving notice. They do not have to have a reason like rent arrears. You can find out more about this through Citizens Advice - If you get a section 21 notice.
Your landlord will have to go to court to evict you - they can't just tell you to leave - because there are strict laws that protect tenants from being evicted illegally. Make an appointment to get advice at John Wilkes House (details above) if you have received notice.
If you have received a Section 21 notice, you can check whether it is valid by visiting Shelter - Section 21 eviction.
These are normally for tenants renting from a Housing Association or the Local Authority. The landlord will normally serve a Section 8 notice if they have decided to evict you. They will normally only do this if you have problems like not paying the rent. You can find out more about this from Citizens Advice - If you're being evicted from your council home.
If you have an Assured Tenancy, contact your landlord as they will be able to offer you support and advice and they may be able to work with you to keep you in your home. If your landlord says they cannot help, make an appointment with us so that we can assist you.
These agreements are normally made where you rent a room in your landlord's home. Your landlord does not have to take you to court to evict you, but it is normal that they give you reasonable notice so that you can find another property (if you pay your rent every month, this would normally be at least one month's notice).
Illegal eviction and harassment
It is unlawful for landlords to harass or intimidate their tenants or try to force them to move out of their home without following the correct legal process. If this is happening to you, get help with your housing situation. If you are assessed as having an urgent housing problem, our Housing Options and Advice team will arrange to see you on the same or next working day and assist you.
Homeless enquiry and housing options
It's vital that your caseworker is notified of any court action by your landlord as quickly as possible.
We recommend that an applicant attempts to make their own arrangements if a private sector home is not secured prior to eviction. For example, stay with friends or relatives.
This allows time for you to seek a home in the private sector and receive help from the us in finding a private rented property that is suitable and affordable.
If eviction takes place and there's no time to secure a home in the private sector, it's likely you will be placed in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation. This type of accommodation has the following drawbacks:
- Very expensive
- Offers no choice in where to live
- May require you to move several times because of the emergency and short term nature of this type of accommodation
If you do not accept a suitable offer of emergency accommodation, we will discharge our housing duty towards you. It's vital that you continue to search for a home in the private sector even after you have been placed in emergency accommodation.
For us to accept a full housing duty, you will have to be homeless and we must be satisfied that you are eligible for assistance and in priority need. If a full housing duty is accepted, you will be assisted with securing a home in the private sector through the Homefinder Scheme.
Moving out on your own
There are several options that you can look into if you want to move to a place of your own:
- A private rented home
- Affordable home ownership in London
- Help to own your own home
- Shared Ownership portal - approved by the National Housing Federation
If you have benefits you may be able to get help with rent by claiming Local Housing Allowance or discretionary housing payments.
If we have a legal duty to assist you under the homelessness law and you have nowhere to store your belongings while living in emergency accommodation, we may be able to help. Our charges are set out below.
An inventory of your belongings will be prepared before they go into storage, and will then be stored in waterproof containers in a secure facility.
Belongings can only be put into storage and removed once. You won't have access to retrieve items, so do not store valuables, passports or other things you may need access to. If you leave items in storage for a long period of time, they may be disposed of if we cannot contact you.
The cost for this service can be up to £696, including a £100 deposit. You will need to sign an agreement for monthly repayments of the remaining money (including our terms and conditions for storage). Failure to pay your monthly charge could result in belongings being sold off to recover costs.
The storage charge will be applied for the size of the accommodation you're moving out of. You must always pay the rate for the size of your house.
£336 including VAT
£456 including VAT
£624 including VAT
£408 including VAT
£576 including VAT
£696 including VAT