You can ask a court for an injunction, compensation or both if a landlord has illegally evicted you.
How an injunction helps
You can ask the court for an injunction to order your landlord to let you back into your home or to stop harassing you.
A court injunction is an order by a judge that tells someone to either do something or stop doing something. Your landlord could be fined or sent to prison for not obeying an injunction.
You can't get an injunction to get back into your home if it has already been rented to other tenants.
Legal help for an injunction
You should find a solicitor quickly if you want to apply for an injunction.
You may qualify for legal aid (free advice and representation) if you have a low income.
If you can't get legal aid
You might be able to find a solicitor to help under a conditional fee agreement - often described as 'no win no fee'.
This is only possible if you are also claiming compensation for the illegal eviction as you usually pay the fee from any compensation you are awarded.
Where to apply for an injunction
Use Form N16A to ask the court to make an injunction against your landlord to let you back into your home or to stop harassing you.
Apply for an injunction at your local county court.
You probably have to wait three days or longer before you can attend a court hearing.
You can ask the court to act quickly if you've been illegally evicted and you're homeless or at risk of violence.
You can apply to the court for a 'without notice' injunction.
The court can make this type of injunction without hearing from your landlord first. It can sometimes do this on the same day you apply.
Use Form N16A to make an emergency application for an injunction.
There will be a further court hearing at a later date for both you and your landlord to attend.
Court action for compensation
You can take your landlord to court to claim compensation for illegal eviction or because of harassment. A claim for compensation is also called a claim for damages.
The amount of compensation the court decides to award you depends on your tenancy type and how your landlord behaved. The court can order your landlord to pay more if your landlord was violent.
Use Form N1 to apply to the court to order your landlord to pay you compensation.
You can include an application for a final injunction with this, for example ordering your landlord to stop harassing you in the future.
Your landlord may have a defence against your claim for compensation if they reasonably believed that you had left the property. The court decides who is right.
Legal help for a compensation claim
You may get legal aid to take your landlord to court for compensation for illegal eviction if you claim certain benefits or have a low income.
A housing solicitor in your local area may be able to help you for free or for a reduced fee. You may be asked to agree to pay the solicitor's fee from any compensation you are awarded.
If you agree to use a conditional fee arrangement to take your landlord to court to claim compensation and:
- you win your case, the costs of hiring the solicitor are paid by your landlord
- you don't win, any costs will be what you agree with the solicitor at the start
Use the Gov.uk Legal Adviser Finder to find a solicitor or legal adviser in your area.
You usually have to pay a fee when you apply to a court for an injunction or compensation.
You might not have to pay a fee if you are claim certain benefits or have a low income. See court leaflet Form EX160A for more information.
Find out more from Gov.uk about court fees.
If the court makes an injunction or awards you compensation, you can ask the court to order your landlord to pay you any money you have spent on court fees.
Last updated 26 Apr 2017 | © Shelter
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