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Overview of the legislation

This content applies to England

Acts designed to protect residential occupiers from illegal eviction and harassment intended to force the occupier to leave.

These include:

  • Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes harassment and illegal eviction separate criminal and civil offences. It enables occupiers to seek damages and/or injunctions from the civil courts if they have been subjected to harassment or illegal eviction
  • Caravan Sites Act 1968 gives similar protection to park home occupiers
  • Housing Act 1988 enables tenants to claim damages via the civil courts if they have been unlawfully evicted or forced to leave due to harassment
  • Criminal Law Act 1977 protects all occupiers (including those excluded from other protection) from violence during the course of an eviction
  • Housing Act 1985 enables local authorities to take control of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) if the health, safety, or welfare of occupiers is at risk due to harassment.

There are also a number of Acts relating to other forms of harassment, antisocial behaviour, violence, and/or environmental nuisance that may be relevant in particular circumstances. See the section on Harassment and antisocial behaviour for an overview of this legislation.

Occupiers' rights vary depending on their housing status. In order to establish what type of security of tenure a tenant has, see the section on Security of tenure.

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