Is your landlord threatening to evict you illegally? Have you already been evicted and need legal advice? Let our expert Housing solicitors help you.
We regularly see landlords harassing and bullying tenants, and even forcing them out of their home. Landlords cannot simply change the locks on your home because you have not paid your rent on time. Your landlord must prove they have valid grounds to evict you and follow a strict legal process.
Smooth Commercial Law can help tenants who are scared of being illegally evicted. Our team can help stop your landlord and their agents from harassing you, unlawfully evicting you, and can potentially help you gain compensation.
What is an unlawful eviction?
By law, every eviction must follow a strict legal procedure. This procedure is put in place to protect tenants, and can be quite lengthy. This means that landlords often try to find ways around it. If your landlord hasn’t followed the below steps, it is likely they have broken the law:
- The landlord serves you with a Section 21 Notice
- The landlord waits two months for the notice to expire
- The landlord serves you a Notice Seeking Possession and applies in the County Court for a Possession Order
- The Court grants a possession order and gives you, the tenant, a date to exit the property
- The landlord waits for this notice period on the possession order to expire
- The landlord summons the Court bailiffs to execute the order and remove you from the property
- You receive a notice when the bailiffs will arrive
- The bailiffs appear on the said date and remove you and your property
Has your landlord carried out all of those steps? If they haven’t, and they are forcing you to leave your home, get in touch with our Housing team – we can help.
If your landlord hasn’t followed these steps and has evicted you, they have committed a criminal offence and can be prosecuted. You can also receive damages.
What is landlord harassment?
Your landlord may not be overtly trying to evict you, but they may be making life hard enough for you that you want to leave your home. Landlord harassment can be equally upsetting. It is defined under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 as:
- Acts likely to interfere with the peace and comfort of those living in the property; or
- persistent withdrawal of services that are reasonably required for the occupation of the premises.
You have a right by law to enjoy peace and comfort in your home. Landlords who interfere with that enjoyment may be guilty of landlord harassment.
Acts of harassment may include:
- Cutting off electricity, water, heating, or internet
- Withholding keys or changing the locks
- Refusing to carry out repairs – See Housing Disrepair Claims
- Anti-social behaviour, threats, or physical violence
- Entering your home when you are not there, without your permission
- Insulting or derogatory language
- Discrimination because of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexuality, profession, or another personal characteristic
- Persistently threatening you or asking you to leave your home, including offering you money to do so
If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, we can help ensure you are protected.
What compensation can I claim for an illegal eviction?
Firstly, your landlord can be sentenced to jail for illegally evicting you, with a maximum punishment of two years in jail and/or an unlimited fine imposed by the courts.
The tenant can be awarded damages. When awarding compensation, the courts will consider the impact the illegal eviction has had on the tenant, the amount of time you were homeless, and the consequences on your life of any harassment and behaviour that has caused you grievance.
Compensation may be awarded for:
- General damages – for loss of amenity, trespass, nuisance, distress, and inconvenience
- Damages for harassment
- Special damages
- Exemplary damages
While each case is different, our Unlawful Eviction solicitors will be able to explain exactly what you may receive in relation to compensation.
How can Smooth Commercial Law help?
No tenant should be fearful of being illegally evicted by their landlord. Our Liverpool, Manchester, St Helens, and North West Unlawful Eviction solicitors can help ensure you keep your home.
At Smooth Commercial Law, we understand your concerns. Our team can review your options and open discussions with your landlord about the most practical steps forward. If you have been a victim of an unlawful eviction, we can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
We have years of experience in helping tenants with various complex legal issues. Smooth Commercial Law also operate on a No Win, No Fee basis, meaning there is no financial risk to you if you do choose to claim through us.
To arrange a free initial consultation on starting your Illegal Eviction claim with our Liverpool, Manchester, St Helens, and North West Solicitors, you can call 0800 046 9976 or get in touch via a contact form on this page.