How to stop eviction by bailiffs
No evictions by bailiffs will take place until after 31 May except in very limited circumstances.
When an eviction can still take place
Evictions may still go ahead if your landlord has proved either:
at least 6 months' rent arrears
The court must have already made a possession order and identified that the eviction can go ahead under the rules in place during lockdown.
How you know the bailiffs are coming
Bailiffs must give you 2 weeks' notice of an eviction date.
The notice of eviction will be addressed to anyone named on the court order and 'any other occupiers'.
It will come in a sealed transparent envelope and should be posted through your letterbox or attached to the door.
If you're self isolating or at higher risk from coronavirus
Even if the court says an eviction can go ahead, the bailiffs must not carry out the eviction if you or anyone in your household are either:
self isolating because you're symptomatic or have coronavirus
at higher risk because you're clinically extremely vulnerable
Check who's at higher risk on the NHS website.
Contact the court and the bailiffs and explain your symptoms or health conditions. The eviction should be postponed.
Get urgent legal advice if you're told the eviction is going ahead.
When the court can stop or delay the bailiffs
The court can't always stop an eviction going ahead.
It depends on the:
type of tenancy you have
the eviction process your landlord uses
Council or housing association tenants
If you have a secure or assured tenancy and you're facing eviction for rent arrears, use our guide to find out:
Find out when the the court can stop or delay the bailiffs if you're a:
The court can't usually stop or delay a section 21 eviction.
Section 21 evictions are on hold until after 31 May 2021 due to lockdown restrictions.
Apply to court to stop the eviction
Use form N244 to ask the courts to:
stop the bailiffs
delay the bailiffs
make changes to your possession order
Fees and costs
You usually have to pay court fees but may be exempt if you claim certain benefits or have a low income.
See court leaflet EX160A for help with fees.
Ask the court to stop the bailiffs
Use form N244 to explain why you want the bailiffs' warrant suspended.
You'll need to show the court how things will change.
If you're being evicted for rent arrears or antisocial behaviour:
show how you will repay rent arrears from now on
explain how the antisocial behaviour has changed - for example, if a family member causing antisocial behaviour has left
You can't be evicted if the court suspends the bailiffs' warrant. You must keep to conditions such as repaying arrears
Ask for changes to your possession order
You can also use form N244 to ask the court to change the terms in your possession order.
You will need to do this at the same time that you apply to suspend the bailiff's warrant.
You can ask the court to:
set aside (cancel) the possession order
change the date you have to leave
change the conditions you must comply with (for example, the amount of arrears you repay in instalments)
The court doesn't always have the power to change the terms of the order
Negotiate with your landlord
Councils and housing associations sometimes agree to withdraw the bailiff's warrant.
They can do this if they accept that you will improve problems such as rent arrears or antisocial behaviour.
Keep negotiating with your landlord up to your eviction date.
It’s more difficult for private tenants to negotiate, but try if your circumstances have changed - for example, if you can now repay rent arrears.
If your landlord agrees to delay your eviction, make sure that you:
get any new agreement with your landlord in writing
check with the court that the bailiffs' visit is cancelled
Never assume the bailiffs won't come just because your landlord says you can stay.
If the bailiffs' visit isn't cancelled, you must apply to the court to stop the bailiffs
Attend the court hearing
If the court has the power to stop the bailiffs, a judge will hold a short hearing to decide if they should stop the bailiffs.
This is called an 'application hearing'. It could be on the same day that you return your N244 form to the court.
It's usually held in a private room at the court, but it could be a phone or video call because of coronavirus.
ask the court if there is a free legal advice service available
explain to the judge why it would be reasonable to stop or delay the eviction
take any evidence you have - for example, if you have a new job, explain that you can make arrears repayments from now on
Last updated: 10 March 2021