Tennant not moving out - advise please

I will much appreciate any help/advise here.
My tenancy expired Nov 2021, but the tenant did not want to move out as they wanted to apply for council housing. I issued section 21 form and their process started. I extended the tenancy for another 3 months until 02/22.
Now they still have not heard anything from the council, and they can not find any other place to live either.
I am not sure what I can do now, I would like them to move out because I need to sell the house. It seems like the tenant have to wait for their application before moving out. The problem is no one knows when the council will find the house for them.

Anyone has similar experience before?
I am thinking of applying possession order, but not sure how long does it take.

A s21 does not end the tenancy and you did not need to “extend the tenancy” as it just becomes periodic. You have to follow up the s21 with an application to the court for a possession order and after that probably bailiffs to execute the order if you want the tenant to leave. The Council will tell the tenant to stay put until the bailiffs arrive or they will be classed as intentionally homeless.

You dont sound very experienced. I think you are going to need help from a housing solicitor or eviction specialist to get them out of you could wait months only to find you court case fails.


In a lot of places, the council will tell your tenant to stay put until the bailiffs come and won’t provide them with housing until that happens.

I agree with David that you need help from a specialist. You’ve unfortunately delayed the eviction process by two months now, which is already quite lengthy.

You also have to make sure you don’t unwittingly do anything considered harassment or attempts at illegal eviction, as your tenant could then sue you. While still refusing to leave the property.

You can try selling it - however I don’t know how lucky you’ll be finding someone willing to take it until the tenant has moved.

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thanks, David and Ryan. Sounds like issuing s21 means I need to start the eviction?? I was hoping the council can sort something out.
I know you have advised that I should get an expert to help, is the eviction process something complicated and what can happen if I do it myself.

A section 21 starts an eviction - it does not end a tenancy. It allows you to take it to court when not followed. The tenancy is only ended when the tenant willingly vacates or the bailiffs remove your tenant. Until then your tenancy is in force and your tenant has full rights and you have full obligation.

In some areas it’s possible the council will find the tenant a new place without eviction. I’ve heard the wait-list where I live is 6 months. But the priority is stopping people being thrown out on the streets. Anyone who has a home is at the bottom of the list. Your tenant could tell the council they can’t afford rent anymore and they could be advised to do the best they can and stay until the bailiffs come.

The biggest risk of handling it yourself is that you make a mistake that gets you sued by the tenant, or you just plain get stuck with the tenant for ages and ages because you don’t make the case properly. The longer it drags on, the more risk that the tenant will neglect or damage the apartment which is greater risk still.

If neither time nor money are a concern, you can certainly do it yourself.

However even one hour consultation with a specialist could make this a far easier and faster process for you.


Well for one thing your s21 may be invalid. You can check it here: Section 21 flowchart - Nearly Legal: Housing Law News and Comment

If its valid, then its still easy to make a mistake with the court application form. If the tenant files a defence, it will involve a hearing and you have to know how to counter any defence. Finally you would have to get bailiffs to execute the order and would need to understand what to do on the day. A mistake at any point can add weeks or months to the process.

You may be perfectly capable of doing all this yourself, but only you will know that.

thank you, both. it is much clear now.

that link to check s21 is really helpful. One of the check is about the deposit document, if it is ‘prescribed information’ given in full at any time. I used Openrent contract, which includes info about the deposit scheme. am I right to presume this should check the box? anyone has experience on this?

You need to check with Openrent. I would never let anyone else deal with the deposit. The consequences of a simple admin error are too expensive.

If you intend to continue managing the tenancies yourself, can I suggest you join the NRLA and do their foundation training course. It could save you a lot of money in the end.


thanks again.

I did renewed/extended another three months for them after I served s21. Does this mean the last s21 is not valid and now I need to serve s21 again?


Yes it does. Assuming it was the same people and same property you can serve notice staight away, but this may not expire within the fixed term. Hopefully you re-served the prescribed documents when you renewed the tenancy. If not then serve then before the s21.

I would also seriously back the recommendation to use a professional company, having been in this situation. There are just so many ways of coming unstuck. Here’s just one example: did you know that you need to serve any type of legal notice before 4pm on the day dated on the document or its legal status might be challenged? I didn’t. If you have a tenant who does know how to ‘work the system’ or a pedantic magistrate, the whole eviction process can be strung out indefinitely. Better to spend the money on getting help.

sorry, just to be clear.

A fixed one year contract started 25.11.2020, prescribed information was given part of the contract when they moved in. I don’t recall giving them EPC certificate.

I served s21 at 01.10.2021

I extended the contract for 3 month from 25.11.2021 to 25.02.2021, no prescribed information was given in the renew contract, neither for EPC and gas certificate.

My question are:

  1. do I need to serve S21 again now and with two month notice?
  2. is the served s21 valid?

if not, what do I need to do now… thanks

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You signed a new contract instead of just letting it go periodic? That was not a good idea.

Had you talked to your tenants before filing the section 21?

By my understanding, if you give the gas/EPC now before filing that should be enough.

It’s a really good idea to get to a specialist. Even one hour with a solicitor who specializes in tenancy law will be invaluable and could save you countless hours and expense.

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I did speak to tenant before filing s21, it was actually them asked me to file because they needed it to apply housing from council.

Oh dear. That might be really bad. I believe it’s not legal to file a section 21 to try and get the tenant on social housing faster.

Please speak to a solicitor.

Your s21 would have been invalid anyway as you hadnt served the EPC, or at least hadnt retained evidence. Take a walk through that flowchart I linked earlier. It will tell you all the requirements.

thanks… I now need to serve s21 again with prescribed information + EPC + Gas safety, and wait for another 2+ months and start eviction process.

Not with those documents. After them. I’d suggest a day in between.


Wish you all the best.

Friend of mine have used landlord Action service and
even all s21 notice served tenant not left so now waiting for court hearing.
In meantime tenant not paying rent, does not allow to go for inspection and had to sent gas inspector for gas check and
eventually tenant allowed but his wife was refusing for
gas inspector. When gas inspector went found the cockroaches in kitchen and we have reported to to tenant as they have to arrange for for pest controller according to the NRLA advice.
But no reply and my friend have reported to council environmental health.
Tenant have not cleaning the property and kitchen in mess.

Also the residents/ neighbours have complained to council because they are affected by tenant nuisance behaviour.
The property was given professionally cleaned and never had
any issues.

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