Help from the council with harassment and illegal eviction

Your local council should help you if your landlord or agent is harassing you or if you're threatened with illegal eviction.

What can the council do to help?

The council must try to stop a threatened illegal eviction if it would leave you homeless.

Councils can:

  • talk to your landlord about your rights

  • tell your landlord that they are breaking the law

  • negotiate with your landlord

  • help you get back into your home if you've been illegally evicted

  • prosecute your landlord in serious cases

What to do before you contact the council

It is a good idea to prepare before you call or email your council.

Be ready to tell them:

  • how your landlord is harassing you

  • times and dates of unwanted visits

  • your landlord’s contact details

The council will be in a better position to take action against your landlord if you have this evidence.

Find out about how to keep a record of harassment.

Contact the right team at the council

Every council has a team that deals with harassment and illegal eviction.

The team could be called something like:

  • private rented housing team

  • environmental health team

  • tenancy relations officer or team

You should be able to find the team's contact details on your council website.

Find your local council on GOV.UK

In London, you can report a rogue landlord or agent on the London Assembly website. Details are passed to your local council for investigation if you give permission.

Contact the council online

Some councils only let you contact them with an online form.

Make sure you mention:

  • why you’re at risk of illegal eviction or harassment

  • your landlord’s actions

  • how often and when the harassment has happened

  • what specific help you want

Keep a record of the date and time you sent the form and any reference number you’re given.

Contact the council by phone

When you call the council, be specific.

Say you need help because your landlord is harassing you or because you're being threatened with illegal eviction.

Make a note of who you speak to, the time and date and the number you call. Also note what you discuss and what next steps you agree with the council.

Use our template email to send or read out

Copy and paste the words into an email to your council.

You need to change and add to the bits in bold.

I’m asking for urgent help to stop my landlord/letting agent harassing me.

I am at risk of illegal eviction.

My landlord/letting agent is name and contact details of your landlord or letting agent

My landlord/letting agent is harassing me by give examples of your landlord or letting agent’s behaviour. Include details - for example, if you landlord visits the property without warning or uses abusive language.

Harassment and illegal eviction are covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

Include your name, phone number and email

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Make sure you tell your council if you live in an HMO.

Most HMOs must be licensed by the council.

Landlord harassment breaks HMO licensing rules.

Councils can enforce HMO licensing rules.

If you struggle to get through to your council

It can be hard to get through to your council.

Keep trying. It is a good idea to:

  • try different numbers on your council website

  • call your council at different times of the day

  • send follow up emails

  • get in touch with your local councillor

  • contact your local MP

If you're facing homelessness

Contact your council's homeless team if harassment is so bad that you can't stay in or return to your home.

Last updated: 30 March 2021

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