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Landlord harassment and illegal eviction

This page contains information for tenants on landlord harassment and illegal eviction. This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. You can get independent legal advice from a firm of solicitors, Law Centres or the CAB.


As a tenant you are entitled to occupy your home in peace and comfort. If your landlord does something to interfere with this, it could be considered as harassment. Examples of this could include such things as:

  • Removing or restricting your essential services such as gas, electricity or water supplies.
  • Entering your home without your permission or prior notice.
  • Refusing to allow you to have visitors
  • Forcing you to sign an agreement that reduces your legal rights

Illegal Eviction

An illegal eviction takes place if your landlord makes you leave your home without following the proper legal process. It is a serious criminal offence.

If a Landlord wants to evict you from your home in most circumstances they must follow a legal procedure. The notice period that a landlord has to give depends on the type of tenancy you have. An illegal eviction will occur if the landlord or any other person prevents you from entering all or part of your home. Examples of Illegal Eviction could include:

  • The landlord changes the locks while you are out.
  • The landlord uses violence or threats of violence to force you to leave.
  • Evicting you before the proper legal procedure has been followed.

If your landlord is threatening or has illegally evicted you from the property, you should try to get an independent witness or the police at the scene and retain possession of any keys to the property.

Civil Action

If you have been illegally evicted you can take action yourself, through a solicitor, against your landlord, to claim compensation for any distress you may have suffered. This can been done in addition to any criminal prosecution that the Local Authority may bring against the landlord. If the Local Authority is able to prosecute your landlord, you must be willing to provide a statement giving a true account of what has happened and also be willing to give evidence in court.

We have a Housing Options Team that deals with landlord harassment and illegal eviction. If you feel that your landlord is harassing you, you should contact our Housing Options Team who would be able to contact your landlord on your behalf and try to resolve any disputes.

Contact us

Housing Options
Community and Housing Department
3rd Floor
Civic Centre

Telephone: 020 8545 3636
Out of hours: 020 8770 5000