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
Legal aid could help if you have been illegally evicted or are facing harassment. You may able to get free or low-cost legal help to take your landlord to court.
Contact Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345 to see if you qualify for legal aid
Help with an injunction if you can't get legal aid
Your local council may be able to help you apply for an injunction.
Find out how your local council could help.
For free housing advice, contact a Shelter advice centre, Citizens Advice or a law centre.
Call Shelter's free national helpline on 0808 800 4444 to speak to one of our expert advisers
Use Shelter's directory to find an advice centre in your local area.
You may have to pay for court action yourself if you don't qualify for legal aid. You may be able to get free or low-cost legal help from a solicitor through a conditional fee arrangement.
Use the Gov.uk legal Adviser Finder to find legal help in your area.
Other sources of legal help could include:
- a workplace scheme or trade union offering legal advice
- legal insurance – check if your household contents insurance or other insurance covers legal disputes
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