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

Contact the tenancy relations officer or housing team at your local council.

They could:

  • 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:

  • a diary

  • notes on your calendar

  • photos

  • videos

These records will be important if you take legal action against your landlord.

Still need advice?

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone.

Renters' unions

Some renters unions give local support for people dealing with landlord harassment and illegal eviction.

Renters unions include:

Last updated: 6 November 2020

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