Private tenants

Harassment and illegal evictions

The law protects people living in residential property against harassment and illegal eviction.

If you are an assured or a short hold tenant renting in the private sector, your landlord cannot evict you without a court order and to do so is a criminal offence.  

It is also a criminal offence for the landlord, or someone acting on the landlords behalf, to:

  1. stop you from using parts of your home that you have a legal right to access
  2. try and drive you out of your home by bullying, violence, withholding gas and electricity services or any other sort of interference. This can include unannounced visits which involve your landlord or agent letting themselves in, particularly at antisocial hours.

 

Harassment

Harassment covers a wide range of activities. It may be intended to drive you from your home.

It may include a landlord, their agent, or someone connected with them, doing things which are distressing and undermine you of your sense of security.

 

Illegal eviction

A landlord can normally only evict you after going through the courts. 

A landlord seeking possession from you must tell you they are starting court proceedings by serving a notice of seeking possession.

Depending on the grounds on which the landlord is seeking possession, the period of notice will be up to two months except in a few cases where the tenancy agreement stipulates longer notice. 

You are not required to leave the property until the notice expires, and even then may not be evicted without an order of the court. 

 

Contact us for advice

If you are suffering from harassment from your landlord or think you are being evicted illegally, contact us as soon as possible. 

 

What we can do to help

  • We will investigate your concerns and contact your landlord.
  • We have the power to start legal proceedings for offences of harassment and illegal eviction under the Protection from Eviction Act.
  • In extreme cases of harassment, and where the property is in poor condition, we may take over the management of a house in multiple occupation by making it subject to a control order.
  • We can also use compulsory purchase powers if there is very bad harassment.