How to stop 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

Get advice now if you're facing eviction. Have the papers you received from the court with you when you speak to an adviser.

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

Call Shelter's free national helpline on 0808 800 4444 to speak to one of our expert advisers

Use Shelter's directory to find local advice from Shelter, Citizens Advice or a law centre

Look out for notice 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 that the bailiffs are coming.

Find out what happens when bailiffs come to evict you.

Find out if you can stop the bailiffs

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

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

What the court can do depends on what type of tenancy you have and the reasons why the court made a possession order.

Check if bailiffs can be used to evict you

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

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

A common example of breaking conditions is if you don't pay your rent and the rent arrears payments set out in the court order.

Get legal advice for a court hearing

To stop the bailiffs, you'll need to apply to ask the court to consider whether to stop the bailiffs coming. There will probably be a short court hearing.

Ask the court if it has a free legal advice service available at the court. The service may be called 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. Get advice in advance if you can.

Get help if you'll be homeless

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

Last updated 26 Apr 2017 | © Shelter

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