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Legal rights to stay in private rented accommodation

Illegal evictions and harassment

Private landlords can sometimes pressure you to leave their property. However you have legal rights to protect yourself against any harassment or an illegal eviction.

If you are threatened with eviction from your home it is important that you seek advice on your tenancy rights. Your legal rights will depend on the type of tenancy you hold and also on the reason your landlord wants to evict you from your home.

The only defence a landlord has against a claim of illegal eviction is if they genuinely believed that the occupier had permanently left the property. If you plan to leave your property for a long period, but you will return, it is important that you continue paying your rent and do not remove all your belongings.

The following can be considered a criminal offence if proven:

  • The disconnection of electricity, gas, water or other essential services
  • Interference or removal of your belongings
  • The prevention of access to the bathroom, kitchen or garden to which you share or have exclusive right to
  • Entering your home without your consent
  • Making threats to persuade you to leave

We have the power to start legal proceedings for offences of harassment and illegal eviction. We can carry out an investigation and, if we have evidence, can prosecute the offender.

If you are being harassed or threatened with illegal eviction contact the housing advice team.