What is classed as illegal eviction?
- Changing the locks on the property while you, the tenant, are out
- Verbally or physically threatening you
- Forcing you to move out of the property
- Physically removing you from their property
- Preventing you from entering certain areas of the property
Correct eviction procedures
The proper legal procedure for evicting a tenant from their property depends on the type of agreement in place, and your landlord’s reasons for asking you, the tenant, to leave. In most instances, the process will involve giving you the appropriate notice to leave, and obtaining a court order.
Depending on the type of agreement you have with your landlord on the property, they can give you a two-month section 21 notice, a notice to quit (with a minimum of four weeks’ notice) or a notice of seeking possession, with notice periods from two weeks to two months.
Once the notice period has expired, the landlord can then apply to the court for a possession order. If you do not leave the property on the date the court requests, the landlord can then return to the court to ask for a bailiff’s warrant.
Court bailiffs are the only people who can legally evict you from your landlord’s property. If your Landlord forces you to leave the property at any point before the court bailiffs arrive, this will be counted as an illegal eviction.
Evicting tenants without a court order
There are certain circumstances in which your landlord can evict you from the property without obtaining a court order beforehand. These include:
- When your landlord lives in the same building as you (except in the case of purpose-built apartment blocks)
- When you share living space (kitchens, bathrooms, etc.) with a member of the landlord’s family
- When you, the tenant, initially moved into the property as a squatter
- When the property in question is a hostel or other temporary accommodation
- When the landlord’s property is being repossessed by a mortgage lender (It is possible for you to make an application to court to stay in the property for a limited period)
Stephensons has a specialist housing law team, who are well placed to offer expert, impartial legal advice to tenants when it comes to lawful eviction procedures. If you are a tenant and you would like to speak to a member of our housing team about issues you are having regarding evictions by your landlord, contact Stephensons today by calling 0203 816 9282.