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Tenants legal help – what to do about illegal eviction

Houses in London

Illegal eviction

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.

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Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.

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One Response to Tenants legal help – what to do about illegal eviction

  1. Hahah, You know I cant leave this one alone.

    Solictors who know this stuff or who are prepared to take it on around my way are as rare as hen’s teeth.

    Personally I dont think there is much point in wasting time and energy on criminal prosecutions. I would always go down the civil route myself, as I have started doing. It’s quicker (the earliest I have ever got a criminal case into court is 18 months) and the damages cause rogue landlords to think twice before doing it again. (Cashmere?).

    Many decent landlords I deal with are surprised when they hear, not only the types of offences that get committed daily, but also how many incidents there are. I know there are around 100 or so TROs in the country, if we each deal with say 10 violent incidents a month, where lanldords assault and threaten tenants then thats 12,000 bullies out there, without those that arent dealt with by TROs. This is why the laws are there that cause decent landlords to complain about the length of possession proceedings, those laws are still very much needed.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

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Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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