If you've been illegally evicted, your local council may be able to help you get back into your home, prosecute your landlord or find you emergency accommodation.
Help from the council
Contact your local council immediately if you've been illegally evicted.
The council could:
- help you get back into your home
- find you somewhere else to live
- prosecute your landlord
Your council should have a team or person, such as a tenancy relations officer, who is responsible for helping tenants who have been harassed or illegally evicted. The council will also have another team responsible for helping people who are homeless.
Help to get back into your home
The council should check your legal rights to stay in your home. It can then contact your landlord to negotiate for you to return.
The council's tenancy relations officer may be able to go with you to help you re-enter your home.
The council can also give you legal advice. It can advise you about getting a solicitor and about going to court to get an injunction against your landlord.
The council doesn't charge for help and advice.
If the illegal eviction has made you homeless, the council may help you with emergency accommodation while it looks into your situation. The council does not have to find accommodation for all homeless people.
If you're illegally evicted at night or at the weekend, call your council's emergency out-of-hours number.
To find the number you can:
- call Shelter's free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444 8am-8pm on weekdays and 8am-5pm on weekends
- search Gov.uk for your council's contact details. Call the out-of-hours number or the council's switchboard and check if this is given in an answerphone message
- call 101 to be connected to your local police, who should also have details of the council's emergency number
Legal action against your landlord
The council can prosecute your landlord for illegal eviction or harassment.
It doesn't cost you anything if the council decides to take your landlord to court. You'll probably have to go to the court hearing.
If they are found guilty, your landlord has to pay a fine or could be sent to prison.
The threat of prosecution can sometimes be enough to persuade your landlord to let you back into your home.
The council can also ask the court to award you compensation. Compensation covers any costs you had to pay, such as rent for emergency accommodation, the cost of replacing your belongings and compensation for any personal injury you have suffered.
Last updated 27 Apr 2017 | © Shelter