What to do if you receive a notice of eviction

It can be distressing to receive a notice of eviction and hard to know where to turn. Help is available and, in the majority of cases, we help people to prevent eviction or arrange new housing. This page outlines the actions you need to take and the ways we and others can help. 

Step 1. Take the notice seriously

If you have been served with an eviction notice your situation is very serious and you could lose your home. Give it your attention because, if you do nothing, you will be evicted.

Step 2. Talk to us urgently

The first thing you should do is contact Ethical Lettings as soon as possible. We have a number of options to help depending on your situation:

  • Affordable repayment plans for rent arrears
  • Support to apply for emergency funds for rent arrears
  • Assistance to find new accommodation
  • Advice and practical support in dealing with your local authority.

We will do everything possible to avoid you becoming homeless but we can’t do that unless you talk with us. Please get in touch and, if you are worried about making a phone call, you can always email, or send a text or WhatsApp message.

Get in touch

Office number: 01483 429157

Email: info@ethical-lettings.com

Text: 07803 485185

WhatsApp: 07803 485185

Step 3. Understand your eviction notice

There are two types of notice that can be served – one is called a section 21 notice, the other is called a section 8 notice.

Section 21 notices

A section 21 notice is a ‘no fault notice’. This means the landlord does not need to say why the notice has been served. However, we will usually be able to explain why the notice has been served when you get in touch.

There are some common reasons for these notices:

  • The owner wants their property back and they’re ending their business with Ethical Lettings
  • There are concerns over how the property is being looked after
  • There are concerns over tenants’ behaviour in the property
  • There are current rent arrears or a history of regular rent arrears.

Notice period: At least two months. 

Section 8 notices

A section 8 notice is served when there is a serious issue and the reason will be stated on the notice. For example: 

  • Significant rent arrears – more than two months behind
  • Antisocial behaviour. 

Notice period: There are different notice periods depending on the reason, known as the “ground”, for the notice. This will be given on the eviction notice.

Always deal with rent arrears before other debts as the consequences are extremely serious. If you have a number of debts we can give you financial advice and support.

Step 4. Take action to stop the notice

The action you can take will depend on the reason given for the eviction notice.

If the property is required back by the owner

It is unlikely that the notice can be stopped and you will need to find alternative accommodation. If this is your situation and you’re not already receiving help to find a new home, get in touch with us.

If you have substantial rent arrears

If you pay off some or all of your rent arrears or have a repayment plan with us it may be possible to stop the notice. We can support you to manage rent arrears and set up a realistic, affordable payment plan based on an assessment of your income and expenditure. We can also help you to access discretionary housing payment funds. The important thing is to talk to us so that we can help.

How to make a payment towards your rent arrears

There are a number of ways you can make a payment towards rent arrears:

  • Call us to make a card payment – 01483 429157
  • Make a bank transfer to Ethical Lettings
    • Sort code: 40-24-33
    • Account number: 01776991
    • Reference: your address.
  • Set up a standing order.

If there are concerns about the way you look after the property or your behaviour within it

If you take steps to address these issues and you work with us, we may be able to save your tenancy. For instance, we might be able to:

  • Work with other agencies to find you, or a member of your household, more support
  • Come to an agreement with you about acceptable standards of behaviour
  • Delay court proceedings to allow these steps to be taken.

Step 5. Contact the local authority

When you are served with an eviction notice, the local authority deems you “threatened with homelessness”. This gives them a legal duty to take reasonable steps to help you prevent eviction or find alternative accommodation. 

When the expiry date of your notice is less than 56 days, contact the correct local authority Housing Options team and tell them about your situation. They will usually ask to see a copy of your eviction notice and your tenancy agreement. If you do not have copies, we can send those out to you.

If you were placed in your accommodation by one local authority and now live in an area with a different local authority, get in touch with us as there are complicated rules about which local authority Housing Options team has responsibility.

Chichester District Council
01243 534734

Elmbridge Borough Council
01372 474590

East Hampshire District Council
01730 266551

Epsom-Ewell Borough Council
01372 732000

Guildford Borough Council
01483 444244

London Borough of Camden
020 7974 4444

London Borough of Lambeth
020 7926 4200

London Borough of Merton
020 8545 3636

London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames
020 8891 7409

London Borough of Southwark
020 7525 5950

London Borough of Sutton
020 8770 5800

London Borough of Wandsworth
020 8871 6840

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
020 7361 3982

Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames
020 8547 5003

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
01628 683667

Runnymede Borough Council
01932 838383

Rushmoor Borough Council
01252 398398

Spelthorne Borough Council
01784 446380

Surrey Heath Borough Council
01276 707100

Waverley Borough Council
01483 523188

Westminster City Council
020 7641 1000

Woking Borough Council
01483 743834

What happens if I do nothing?

If you ignore the notice, don’t get in touch with us and allow the notice period to expire, the consequences will be very serious for you. 

Repossession and court costs

Ethical Lettings would be entitled to file paperwork with the county court to take legal possession of the property from you. The judge is likely to rule that you are liable for court costs (£355.00 at time of publication) and any rent arrears and there is the possibility of a county court judgement. A county court judgement is a public record, it lasts for six years and affects a person’s credit rating.


If you stay in the property after the date that the court awards possession to Ethical Lettings, you’ll be notified of a date and time when bailiffs will come to your home. They will ask you to leave and they will change the locks. If this happens, you’ll face further costs (£121.00 at the time of publication) and any belongings or furniture left behind will be locked inside the property until we can arrange a time for you to make a supervised visit to the property to collect them. 

We’re here to help

The decision to serve an eviction notice to a tenant is a very difficult one for our team. We don’t underestimate the effect that this can have on you and other members of your household. Ethical Lettings is a social lettings agency and our specialist team are here to help you to avoid eviction or, if necessary, find alternative accommodation – but to do that we need you to take that first step and get in touch with us by phone, email, text or WhatsApp message.

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