How to deal with landlord harassment
It is illegal for your landlord to harass you or force you to leave your home.
What is landlord harassment?
Harassment can be any action your landlord takes to deliberately disrupt your life or make you leave your property.
Landlord harassment is a criminal offence. It can include:
cutting off your gas, electricity or water supply
opening your post or removing your belongings
abusing you because of your gender, race or sexuality
being abusive or violent
It could also be harassment if your landlord enters your home without your permission or sends builders in without notice or at antisocial hours.
Harassment can be committed by someone else - for example the landlord's family or letting agent.
When harassment becomes illegal eviction
It is illegal eviction if your landlord:
physically throws you out
changes the locks while you’re out
forces you to leave your home because the harassment is so bad
Tell your landlord to stop the harassment
Write to your landlord to tell them to stop harassing you - for example, if they are:
accessing the property without giving you notice
disturbing or disrupting you
If the harassment continues, write and say you will take legal action.
Call the police
Report your landlord to the police if your landlord:
makes you feel unsafe in your home
threatens you with violence or is violent
Call 101 or 999 if it is an emergency. You can call them any time of day or night.
Ask your council for help
speak to your landlord on your behalf
take action against your landlord
The council's homelessness department may help you with emergency accommodation if you're forced to leave your home because of harassment.
Get an injunction to stop your landlord
An injunction or a harassment order is a court order to tell your landlord to stop harassing you.
You'll need the help of a solicitor or adviser to get an injunction.
Legal aid is available for injunctions against landlords who harass tenants.
You may be eligible for legal aid if you claim benefits or have a low income.
Always keep records
Tell your landlord to put all communications with you in writing. Do the same yourself. Keep copies.
Keep records of all dealings and disputes with your landlord.
This could include:
notes on your calendar
These records will be important if you take legal action against your landlord.
Still need advice?
Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone.
Some renters unions give local support for people dealing with landlord harassment and illegal eviction.
Renters unions include:
Last updated: 6 November 2020