Help from the council if you have been illegally evicted

If you've been illegally evicted, your local council may be able to help you get back into your home, prosecute your landlord or find you emergency accommodation.

How the council can help

Contact your local council immediately if you've been illegally evicted.

The council could:

  • help you get back into your home
  • find you somewhere else to live
  • prosecute your landlord

Your council should have a team or person, such as a tenancy relations officer, who is responsible for helping tenants who have been harassed or illegally evicted. The council will also have another team responsible for helping people who are homeless.

Find your council's telephone number.

Help to get back into your home

The council should check your legal rights to stay in your home. It can then contact your landlord to negotiate for you to return.

The council's tenancy relations officer may be able to go with you to help you re-enter your home.

The council can also give you legal advice. It can advise you about getting a solicitor and about going to court to get an injunction against your landlord.

The council doesn't charge for help and advice.

Emergency accommodation

If the illegal eviction has made you homeless, the council may help you with emergency accommodation while it looks into your situation. The council does not have to find accommodation for all homeless people.

If you're illegally evicted at night or at the weekend, call your council's emergency out-of-hours number.

To find the number you can:

Legal action against your landlord

The council can prosecute your landlord for illegal eviction or harassment.

It doesn't cost you anything if the council decides to take your landlord to court. You'll probably have to go to the court hearing.

If they are found guilty, your landlord has to pay a fine or could be sent to prison.

The threat of prosecution can sometimes be enough to persuade your landlord to let you back into your home.

The council can also ask the court to award you compensation. Compensation covers any costs you had to pay, such as rent for emergency accommodation, the cost of replacing your belongings and compensation for any personal injury you have suffered.

Find out more about illegal eviction.

Last updated 27 Apr 2017 | © Shelter

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