How to deal with illegal eviction

Help after an illegal eviction

You need to act quickly if you want to get back into your home.

You will not be able to get back in if new tenants have already moved in.

Ask your council for help

Your council may have a tenancy relations team who can help.

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

They can also help:

  • negotiate with and explain the law to your landlord

  • find you somewhere else to live

The council may prosecute your landlord if they continue to break the law. Sometimes the threat of prosecution is enough to persuade your landlord to let you back into your home.

If you have nowhere to stay

Contact your council's homelessness team if an illegal eviction leaves you homeless.

Getting back in to your home

If you feel safe to do so, you can use reasonable force to get back into your home. For example, by breaking a window and changing the locks once you're in.

Speak to the tenancy relations team first as there can be risks with doing this. For example, the police might misunderstand the situation and arrest you for criminal damage.

You might have to pay for any damage or a lock change.

Apply for a court order

You can apply to the court for an injunction to:

  • get back into your home

  • stop your landlord harassing you

You could get legal aid if you're on a low income.

If you cannot get legal aid, a solicitor could help under a 'no win no fee' agreement.

You can also claim compensation.

Find out about injunctions and compensation for illegal eviction.

Get your belongings back

Your landlord must return your belongings or allow you to collect them.

Your landlord cannot:

  • sell or destroy your belongings

  • keep your belongings because they say you owe rent

  • leave your belongings on the doorstep for you to collect

Try speaking to your landlord to arrange the return or collection.

You can claim compensation through the court if your belongings are lost or damaged.

Get your tenancy deposit back

Find out how to get your deposit back.

Last updated: 21 June 2023

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