What happens when bailiffs evict tenants

Your landlord can ask a court to send bailiffs to evict you from your home. It's the bailiffs' job to hand the vacant property back to your landlord.

Coronavirus update: evictions are on hold

Court action for eviction is on hold until at least 23 August.

Your landlord can't ask bailiffs to evict you until after that date.

If you get a notice of eviction from the bailiffs during this time, contact the bailiffs. The number will be on the letter.

Get legal advice if they say the eviction is going ahead, or if you can't get in touch with them.

This page gives information about what happens when an eviction takes place.

On the eviction date

Most evictions are carried out by county court bailiffs. They should write to tell you the time and date of the eviction.

Sometimes landlords will apply for high court bailiffs to carry out the eviction. High court bailiffs don’t have to write and tell you when the eviction will be.

Bailiffs usually come between 9am and 5pm. Ask to see their identification. They must have this with them.

The bailiffs will ask you to leave if you are still living in the property. They may wait a short time while you leave, for example if you have a disability. However, they’re not required to do this.

Bailiffs must not use physical violence or offensive language.

Tell your landlord or agent if you move out before the day of eviction

What happens to your belongings

Try to pack or remove most of your belongings before the eviction date. The bailiffs will ask you to remove all your belongings from the property.

Bailiffs don't have to give you extra time to pack your things. You will have to arrange with your landlord to collect any belongings left behind.

Bailiffs must not damage your belongings. They can’t take anything of yours to pay for their costs or for rent arrears, unless the court has made 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 don't collect them. 

You may be able to claim compensation if your landlord damages or disposes of your belongings.

Your local council must help with storage if you are homeless and you:

The council will usually charge for storage.

Homeless after eviction

You should apply to your council as homeless as soon as you are at risk of eviction. You don’t 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 08 June 2020 | © Shelter

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