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Illegal eviction and harassment

This content applies to England

This section provides an explanation of what acts may constitute harassment and illegal eviction, and who is protected by the law. The practical steps an occupier can take to protect themselves, and the civil and criminal remedies that may be available to occupiers who have been subjected to harassment or illegal eviction.

For information about harassment and other forms of antisocial behaviour that is not intended to make an occupier leave their accommodation or refrain from exercising their rights, see the section on Neighbour nuisance.  For information about domestic violence, see the section on Domestic abuse.

In this section, the term 'occupier' is used to refer to both tenants and licensees for the sake of simplicity, except where stated otherwise.

Harassment of occupiers by a landlord or agent

What is harassment by a landlord or their agent and what action occupiers can take if they're harassed. 

What is illegal eviction?

What constitutes illegal eviction. 

Occupier's legal remedies

If negotiations with the landlord to stop harassment or prevent eviction fail, occupiers could consider pursuing a remedy using the courts. 

Causes of action

In order to take a case in the civil court, the complainant must have a cause of action deriving from either breach of contract or tort law. 

County court injunctions

A landlord can be forced to stop harassment or illegal eviction by way of a county court injunction. 

Claiming damages

This section gives information about damages that can be sought where an occupier has been harassed or illegally evicted by her/his landlord. 

Criminal action

The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes harassment and illegal eviction criminal offences. Civil action will probably bring the speediest remedy for the occupier, but successful criminal proceedings can be a long-term deterrent for landlords. 

Alternatives to court action

The various courses of action that may be available to people experiencing harassment, illegal eviction and/or antisocial behaviour, looking at which course of action is most appropriate in different circumstances. 

Practical steps

Practical steps that occupiers experiencing harassment or illegal eviction can take. 

Remedies for offences involving violence

Legal remedies available in the case of offences involving violence against persons or property. 

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