‘Revenge’ or ‘Retaliatory Evictions’ is a problem frequently encountered by tenants!

Essentially the landlord and tenant enter into an agreement of trust. Where the tenant agrees to take care of the landlords property and to pay his rent in full and on time, while the landlord agrees to ensure that he abides by all his legal including the supply of ‘prescribed information’, security of the tenancy deposit and ensuring that the property is maintained, subject to fair wear and tear by the tenant.

Retaliatory evictions is a problem frequently encountered by assured shorthold tenants when they complain to their landlord or the local authority about their housing conditions, and the landlord immediately reacts by serving a Section 21 notice and brings possession proceedings, to avoid the need to carry out the works required of him.

Section 33 and 34 of the Deregulation Act 2015 introduced provisions intended to address this problem. The provisions only apply in England and only apply to tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015 and statutory periodic tenancies arising after that date from fixed-term tenancies granted earlier under section 41 where from the 1st October 2018, the provisions will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies whenever they have been granted.

Essentially a landlord may not give a Section 21 notice within six months of being served by a local authority with an improvement notice or a notice of emergency remedial action under the Housing Act 2004.

Section 33(1) of the Deregulation Act 2015 provides that –

  1. No Section 21 notice can be given within 6months of service of a ‘relevant notice’ on the landlord
  2. A ‘relevant notice’ is a notice served by a local authority under the Housing Act 2004 pertaining to:
  1. Section 11 for improvements notices relating to category 1 hazards
  2. Section 12 for improvement notices relating to category 2 hazards or
  3. Section 40(7) for emergency remedial action

Section33 (2) provides that a section 21 notice is invalid where –

  1. The tenant complains in writing to the landlord about disrepair before a Section 21 notice is given
  2. The landlord fails to respond properly to the tenant within 14 days
  3. The tenant complains to the local authority
  4. The local authority serve a ‘relevant notice’ on the landlord
  5. The Section 21 notice was given before the service of the ‘relevant notice’

Section 33(6)-(7) sets out that –

  1. The court must strike out possession proceedings where the notice is invalid,


  1. if an order is made before the local authority notice is served, this does not provide a ground for setting the order aside

Retaliatory eviction provisions do not apply in the following circumstances –

(Section 34 of the Deregulation Act 2015)

  1. If the condition of the dwelling or the common parts in which the dwelling is situated giving rise to authority’s notice is caused by the tenant’s failure to use the dwelling in a tenant-like manner;
  2. The landlord is a private registered provider of social housing;
  3. When the Section 21 notice is given, the dwelling is genuinely on the market for sale; Section 34(2)-(5) detailed provisions intended to prevent the landlord from trying to rely on this exception where the proposed sale is not on the open market;
  4. The dwelling is subject to a mortgage under which the lender can exercise a power of sale and the lender requires possession to sell with vacant possession.


If you are a tenant of an AST simply call the three authorised agencies below to confirm that your private landlord has secured your tenancy deposit, as he is legally required to do.

  • The Deposit Protection Service – 0330 303 0030
  • My Deposits – 0344 980 0290
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme – 0300 037 1000

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