Harassment and illegal evictions
It's a crime for your landlord to harass you or try to force you out of a property without using proper procedures. If this happens, you may have a right to claim damages through the court.
What is harassment?
Harassment can be anything a landlord does, or fails to do, that makes you feel unsafe in the property or forces you to leave.
Harassment can include:
- stopping services, like electricity
- with holding keys – e.g. there are 2 tenants in a property but the landlord will only give 1 key
- refusing to carry out repairs
- anti-social behaviour by a landlord’s agent – e.g. a friend of the landlord moves in next door and causes problems
- threats and physical violence
Illegal eviction and tenants' rights
Your landlord may be guilty of illegal eviction if you:
- aren’t given the notice to leave the property that your landlord must give you
- find the locks have been changed
- are evicted without a court order
Even if your landlord’s property is repossessed by their mortgage lender, the lender must give you a notice period so you can find other accommodation. Citizens Advice has information on repossession by your landlord’s mortgage lender (link opens in new window).
What you can do
If you think you’re being harassed or threatened with illegal eviction, or the property you rent is being repossessed, talk to us by calling 0300 300 8302.
We will start legal proceedings if we think there is enough evidence of harassment or illegal eviction.
You could also contact a legal adviser, a Citizens Advice Bureau (link opens in new window) or Shelter’s housing advice helpline (link opens in new window).
If physical violence is involved, contact the police.
For further advice, the Department for Communities and Local Government has a detailed guide for tenants facing harassment and illegal eviction (link opens in new window).