Harassment by a private landlord

Find out what you can do to stop landlord harassment.

What is landlord harassment?

Harassment is action taken by your landlord to deliberately disrupt your life at home or make you leave. Harassment can also be committed by someone else, for example the landlord's family or letting agent.

Examples of harassment include if your landlord or someone acting on their behalf:

  • cuts off your gas, electricity or water supply
  • is violent or threatens you with violence
  • opens your mail or removes your belongings
  • harasses you because of your gender, race or sexuality

Your landlord could also be guilty of harassment if they enter your home without your permission or send builders in without notice or at unsocial hours.

Harassment is a criminal offence. Harassment could result in illegal eviction - also a criminal offence.

How to stop landlord harassment

There are steps you can take to try to stop landlord harassment. These steps could also help if you decide to take legal action.

Keep records

Ask your landlord to put all communications with you in writing. Do the same yourself and keep copies. That way, you will have a record of all dealings with your landlord and of any disputes as they happen.

If you do decide to take action against your landlord, any records you keep will be useful evidence. This can include a diary, notes on your calendar, photos and videos.

Contact your landlord

Write to your landlord to ask them to stop the harassment. If this doesn't work, write to them saying that if the harassment continues you will take legal action.

Contact the police

If you are being threatened and are in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

Find contact numbers for the police

Get help and advice

Contact a tenancy relations officer at your local council or someone with similar duties. They could speak to your landlord on your behalf.

The council's homelessness department may help you with emergency accommodation if you're forced to leave your home because of harassment.

Find out how the council can help if you're illegally evicted.

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone.

Get an injunction

An injunction is a court order that orders someone to do something or stop doing something. You'll need the help of a solicitor or adviser to get one.

Legal aid is available for injunctions against landlords who harass tenants. You may be eligible for legal aid if you claim certain benefits or have a low income.

Contact Civil Legal Advice to find out if you qualify for legal aid to help you get an injunction.

Last updated 27 Apr 2017 | © Shelter

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