What happens when bailiffs evict tenants

Get advice if you get an eviction notice from the bailiffs

Sometimes the court can stop or delay an eviction.

You can:

It helps if you have your notice and court paperwork ready.

How you know the bailiffs are coming

Bailiffs must give you 2 weeks' notice of an eviction date.

The notice of eviction is addressed to anyone named on the court order and 'any other occupiers'.

It comes in a sealed transparent envelope and should be posted through your letterbox or attached to the door.

On the eviction date

Most evictions are carried out by county court bailiffs between 9am and 5pm.

Some landlords use high court enforcement officers (HCEOs) to carry out the eviction. HCEOs cannot turn up before 6am or after 9pm.

The notice of eviction from the bailiffs should confirm the date and time.

If you're still at the property when the bailiffs arrive, they will ask you to leave.

Ask to see their identification. They must have this with them.

Bailiffs must not use violence or offensive language.

You should be ready to leave and hand the keys back. They may allow you a short time to move your belongings out but it's best to do this in advance. 

If you have coronavirus

The government advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have tested positive for coronavirus.

Tell the bailiffs if you have:

  • coronavirus symptoms

  • tested positive for coronavirus

This also applies to anyone living with you.

Contact the bailiffs as soon as possible. Their contact details are on the notice of eviction. You can also tell the bailiffs on the day. The bailiffs will then decide if eviction should be delayed.

Bailiffs must use personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintain social distancing.

If you leave belongings in the property

Bailiffs do not have to give you extra time to pack your things. You may have to arrange with your landlord to collect any belongings left behind.

Bailiffs must not damage your belongings. They cannot keep your belongings to pay for court costs or for rent arrears, unless the court makes a separate order that says they can do this.

Your landlord must keep your belongings safe for a reasonable time. You could be charged for storage or removal if you do not collect them. 

You may be able to claim money from your landlord if they dispose of your belongings without your permission.

If you'll be homeless after eviction

You can ask the council for help as soon as you're at risk of eviction. You do not have to wait until the eviction date.

You may qualify for emergency or long term housing if you meet certain conditions. The council may also help you find a new home.


Last updated: 9 March 2022

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