Stopping eviction by bailiffs

Get advice as soon as you get a bailiffs letter. You may be able to delay eviction and keep your home.

Eviction step 3 - bailiffs

Get advice immediately

Get advice as soon as you know the bailiffs are coming to evict you. The sooner you act the more chance you have to keep your home.

Call the Civil Legal Advice helpline on 0345 345 4 345. You may be able to get help from a legal aid lawyer if you claim certain benefits or have a low income.

Anyone can call Shelter's free national helpline on 0808 800 4444 .

For face to face help, use Shelter's directory to find a housing adviser at a Shelter advice service, Citizen's Advice or law centre.

Have the papers you received from the court with you when you speak to an adviser. 

How you know the bailiffs are coming

You get notice of the time and date of an eviction on a court document called Form N54. The bailiffs post this or deliver it by hand.

You should get at least two or three days' notice, sometimes more, that the bailiffs are coming.

Find out more about what happens when bailiffs come to evict you

When bailiffs can be used to evict you

If you don't pay your rent and agreed rent arrears payments set out in a suspended possession order, your landlord can ask for a bailiffs' warrant.

Your landlord must apply to the court for a bailiffs' warrant. This is also known as a warrant for possession. This allows the bailiffs to evict you.

Your landlord can apply for the bailiffs to evict you if: 

  • you don't leave your home by the date the court set in a possession order
  • the court has made a suspended possession order but you haven't kept to the conditions the court imposed

Only a court can send bailiffs to evict you from your home. It's not lawful for your landlord to evict you themselves.

Find out if you can stop the bailiffs

It may be possible for a court to stop or delay the bailiffs.

Find out more about how to stop the bailiffs if you are a:

Whether the court can help depends on who your landlord is and the reasons why the court made a possession order.

Legal advice to stop the bailiffs

There will probably be a short court hearing if the court decides to consider whether to stop the bailiffs coming.

Ask the court if it has a free legal advice service. Different names for this type of service include the housing possession court duty scheme, court desk scheme or county court duty scheme.

Not all courts have an adviser available when you need them. Try to get advice in advance.

Help if you'll be homeless

You can ask the council for help if you are going to become homeless. It may have a duty to provide you with somewhere to live.

Find out more about help from the council.

Fill out my online form.

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