Most landlords are law abiding, and do things properly. Unfortunately, others aren’t. So while the good landlord will wait for the courts to get around to giving him his order for possession so he can evict his non rent paying tenant, other landlords will take a short cut. An illegal short cut.
If this happens to you, what should you do about it? (Apart from pay your rent).
Dealing with illegal eviction
Well the first peace of advice is, don’t go to the police. At best they will tell you its a ‘civil matter’ and none of their business. At worst they will help your landlord move you out (I’m not kidding, read this post).
The best thing to do is to contact your Local Authority housing advice service. If you’re lucky they will have a Tenancy Relations Officer (like our own Ben Reeve-Lewis) who will be able to help you and if necessary bring a prosecution for illegal eviction against your landlord.
The other course of action is to try to find a solicitor who can help. This may be difficult as not many solicitors are expert in this area of law. However, again if you are lucky, you may be able to find a solicitor willing to act on a no win no fee basis, to bring a claim for compensation. In some circumstances you may be entitled to a chunky sum.
Where can you find such a solicitor?
- If you have a local Law Centre, they will be able to help you.
- Firms who do legal aid housing law work will also be a good idea (and if you are on a low income you may even be able to get a legal aid certificate, although I suspect that after all the cuts, a legal aid certificate will soon be scarcer than hens teeth).
- Do a search on the internet for property solicitors. You may be able to find a firm that way, although bear in mind that just because a firm says they do something does not necessarily mean that they are expert at it
What you should not do is let them get away with it. It will only encourage them to do it again.
See more help for tenants on Landlord Law.