Is this legal?!

Hello, can someone please help me? I am extremely worried.

My landlord has asked me, my partner and our 3 children to leave our rented property, and given us just over 2 months to leave.

We have no rent arrears, no reason for us to leave. The landlord advised they weren’t selling, just “wanted it back” and would then decide what they would do. I asked if maybe they were moving in, they said no.

The rent in our area for our property is now about £400 a month more than what we are paying now (£700 currently, but around £1,100 now I have checked the market!). I strongly believe this is the reason. Obviously it is their house, and they are within their rights to claim it back. HOWEVER…there are several things I have found out after that I think are very wrong.

  1. My £700 deposit was never put into a landlord deposit scheme. I moved in 7 years ago, but renewed every 6 months. I paid in cash, and this IS written in the tenancy agreement confirmation of receiving this so have evidence.

  2. The notice given isn’t a Section 21. No mention of it, no mention of Section 8 either. Also, given deposit not in a landlords scheme, even if it was on the correct form etc, wouldnt that make it invalid?

  3. No EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for the property. We have complained a few times about our gas bills being quite high, (I paid £350 for gas alone this month, same as every year and my energy company have contacted me about it being so high) given the conservatory and kitchen are open planned. The conservatory is wooden structure, has holes in some of the woodwork exposing it to outside, parts rotting and also the plastic roof isn’t securely attached. I can get a broom and lift it up without much effort.

  4. If they DID have an EPC, I know it would come back at the worst rating (F or G). Isn’t it illegal for a property to be let with that rating?

  5. I am struggling to find a new home, as I am currently on a temp contract albeit until the end of the year. I will be made permanent as soon as a position comes up, but could be 6 months. All estate agents I have spoken to about suitable homes won’t accept this as income. I am on a good wage. Unfortunately my partner lost his job due to covid and is actively looking for work. My income covers the bills so affordability isnt the issue.

  6. I have registed for local housing, but as not going to be homeless in the next 8 weeks and not got court order, AND notice isnt valid, I don’t have a high priority. Also cant get help with deposit due to my wage, but I have no savings. And I dont think the landlord will give me my deposit back.

There is more I could write, but the above are my main concerns and questions. How do I play this? What do I do? I am writing this in tears as I am really scared as to what I am going to do.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hopefully any responses will help others in the future if they find themselves in the same position.

Thank you x

The landlords informal notice is of no legal effect and you are free to ignore it. If he later asks why you haven’t moved, you can tell him that he has not served a formal notice. He will be unable to serve a valid s21 notice until he corrects the problems you mentioned in your post. He would need to refund you the deposit and serve you with the EPC and other prescribed documents. The EPC must be a minimum of grade E, which it sounds like it might not be. If there was no gas safety certificate in place before you moved in then he will probably never be able to serve you with a valid s21 notice. You have no obligation to inform him of any of this and not doing so will extend your stay at the property as his notices will fail at court and this will add months to the eviction process.

Having said all that, the landlord could raise the rent with a s13 notice if he wished and although you could challenge it at a tribunal, you would probably not win unless the new rent was way above local market rents.

I would suggest you drag this out for a while whilst you get yourself back on an even keel and find somewhere else to live and then give your own notice as this doesn’t sound like a long term home for you.


You can look up online to see if there is an EPC for your address. Do they give you a Gas Safety Certificate each year?

So, you’re not required to move but obviously this will happen once he realises to he steps he has to take. Best to move before then.

You’ve been lucky to have underpaid with £400 each month so should play nicely with the LL.

If the deposit was improperly handled you can potentially sue the landlord. It may be worth seeing a solicitor over this.

What was the outcome of this?