What you can do about illegal eviction

Get help straight away if you've been evicted illegally. Contact the police if your landlord threatens violence.

Challenge illegal eviction

Check if it is illegal eviction

Get advice to find out if you've been evicted illegally.

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

You could be charged with criminal damage if you cause damage when re-entering your home.

Get help from Shelter. Call the helpline or chat to an adviser now

Ask the council for help

Contact your council's tenancy relations officer or housing team.

They may:

  • negotiate with your landlord to let you back into your home
  • prosecute landlords for illegal eviction

Contact your council's homelessness team if you have been illegally evicted or your landlord is harassing you out of your home.

Apply for an injunction

You can apply to the court for an injunction to:

  • get you back into your home
  • stop your landlord harassing you

You can also apply to the court for compensation and damages.

If you need a lawyer, you may qualify for legal aid 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 no win no fee agreement.

Call the police if you are threatened

Call the police if you are being illegally evicted.

Tell the police the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes it a criminal offence for your landlord to evict you without following the correct steps.

Show the police your tenancy agreement if they need proof you are a tenant.

The police should come to your home if they can prevent violence or a breach of the peace.

The police should not help the landlord to evict you.

Call 999 if a crime is happening now or someone is in immediate danger.

Leaving after an eviction

Get your belongings back

Your landlord must return your belongings or allow you to collect them.

Your landlord cannot:

  • keep, sell or destroy your belongings
  • keep your belongings because they say you owe rent
  • just leave your belongings on the doorstep for you to collect

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

You can claim compensation through the court if your belongings are lost or damaged.

Get your tenancy deposit back

Your tenancy deposit should have been protected with an authorised scheme if you're an assured shorthold tenant.

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

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

You can take your landlord to court for the return of your deposit

  • your deposit wan't protected with a scheme
  • your landlord refuses to use the dispute resolution service

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

Find a new home

Get help from the council if you are homeless.

Look for a private rented home


Last updated 18 Mar 2019 | © Shelter

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