Eviction of demoted council tenants

If a council downgrades your tenancy to a demoted tenancy because of antisocial behaviour, it's easy for you to be evicted.

Get advice 

Get advice now if you have a demoted tenancy and you're facing eviction. This could be the last chance to keep your home.

You may qualify for legal aid (free legal advice or representation) if you're on a low income:

Call Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345 to see if you qualify

You can get advice from Shelter regardless of your income:

Call our emergency helpline for initial telephone advice

Look for a Shelter service in your area

Have your notice and court paperwork with you when you speak to an adviser.

How the council can evict you

Councils sometimes demote your tenancy if you’ve been involved in antisocial behaviour.

It’s easy for the council to evict you from a demoted tenancy.

The council must follow the procedure below. A court will then make a possession order, except in exceptional cases.

1. Notice to leave

The council must give you at least 4 weeks' written notice that it intends to go to court to evict you.

This notice must tell you:

  • why the council wants to evict you
  • that you have the right to request a review of the council's decision to evict you

The reason the council gives could be, for example, that you have continued to play loud music late at night or you haven't paid the rent.

You do not have to leave when the notice period expires.

2. Review of the decision to go to court

You can ask the council to review its decision to evict you.

You must do this within 14 days from the date the notice was served.

This is your best opportunity to save your home. It's important to try to persuade the council not to go to court.

You can either:

  • attend a review hearing, with or without an adviser present
  • set out your reasons in writing, including any relevant evidence

The council then looks again at whether to evict you. It must tell you in writing what it decides. If it decides to go to court, it must tell you the reasons why.

3. If the council applies to the court

To evict you, the council must apply to the court for a possession order. It can do this after:

  • the notice period has expired
  • it has made its review decision, if you asked for a review

The court sends you the details of the address, time and date of a hearing.

As long as the council gave you the correct notice and followed the correct procedure, the court will make a possession order.

Only in exceptional circumstances can the court decide not to make a possession order.

The possession order gives the time and date you have to move out of your accommodation. This will normally be in 14 days.

You can ask the court for more time before you have to leave. You can only be given up to 6 weeks, and then only if you would suffer exceptional hardship as a result of having to leave earlier.

4. Eviction by bailiffs

If the court makes a possession order and you don't leave, the council must apply to the court for a bailiffs’ warrant. Bailiffs can then be sent to evict you.

Your only chance of stopping the bailiffs at this stage is to persuade the council to stop them.

For example, if the council wants to evict you because you owe rent you could contact the council with a realistic offer to clear the arrears and ask them to stop the bailiffs.

You can continue to live in your home until the bailiffs come to evict you.

Last updated 13 Apr 2017 | © Shelter

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