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Occupier's legal remedies

This content applies to England

If negotiations with the landlord to stop the harassment or prevent an eviction have failed, occupiers could consider pursuing a remedy using the courts.

It is possible for occupiers to:

  • obtain an injunction to stop the harassment and/or to get reinstated after an illegal eviction
  • claim compensation (damages) for what they have suffered
  • prosecute their landlord and/or apply for a warrant of arrest, and/or
  • ask the local authority to prosecute their landlord in the criminal courts.

An occupier can pursue a civil claim for damages in a county court at the same time as the landlord is prosecuted under criminal law in a magistrates' court. An occupier may also apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a rent repayment order against the landlord.

Advisers should be aware that there may be many reasons why an occupier may not wish to pursue a legal remedy. It may be that the occupier, after what s/he has suffered, no longer wishes to continue to occupy the property. At the conclusion of any legal proceedings the occupier will be very likely to have the same landlord. Similarly, if an occupier has limited security of tenure, this may influence her/his decision about whether to pursue court action.

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