What you can do after illegal eviction

If you've been illegally evicted from your home, you may have the right to get back in and the right to get your belongings back.

Check if you can re-enter your home

Get advice to find out if it's legal for you to re-enter your home. You could have the right to re-enter your home after illegal eviction.

Ask your council for help. A tenancy relations officer at the council may be able to advise you and negotiate to help you get back into your home.

Do not try to get back into your home if:

  • new tenants have already moved in
  • you're not sure if your eviction was illegal
  • there's a risk of injury or violence to yourself or others

If you cause damage when re-entering your home, there is a risk you could be charged with criminal damage.

If you change the lock, keep the old lock and any keys. Refit the old lock and give the keys to your landlord when you leave.

Find somewhere to live after illegal eviction

You may be entitled to emergency housing if illegal eviction has left you with nowhere to live. Get help from the council if you are homeless.

Ask your local council about going on its waiting list for housing.

You may be able to get help paying a deposit for a private rented home through a rent deposit or guarantee scheme.

You can use a letting agency to help you find a home to rent, but you will have to pay fees and charges.

Find out more about finding a private rented home.

Ask the council for help if you're facing homelessness

Take legal action to get back into your home

You can ask a court for an injunction that orders your landlord to let you back into your home if you have been illegally evicted.

You may qualify for legal aid (free advice and representation) if you're on 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'.

Get your belongings back after illegal eviction

Your landlord must make sure your belongings are returned to you or must allow you to collect them.

Your landlord cannot keep, sell or destroy your belongings. They must not just put your belongings on the doorstep for you to collect.

Contact your landlord to arrange the return or collection of your belongings.

If your belongings are lost or damaged during or after an illegal eviction you can claim compensation through court.

Legal aid may be available or you might be able to find a solicitor to help under a conditional fee agreement.

Get your tenancy deposit back after illegal eviction

If you're an assured shorthold tenant, your tenancy deposit should have been protected with an authorised scheme.

You can use the deposit protection scheme's dispute resolution service to help get your tenancy deposit back.

The service can also help if you disagree with the amount the landlord has kept.

If your landlord refuses to use the dispute resolution service, you can take them to court for the return of your deposit.

You can also take your landlord to court to get your deposit back if your deposit did not have to be protected by a government scheme.

If you claim compensation from your landlord for illegal eviction, you can make a claim for the return of your deposit as part of the same court application.

Find out more about illegal eviction injunctions and compensation.

Still need help?

Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person

Last updated 26 Apr 2016 | © Shelter

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