What if things go
wrong with renting?
If you get behind in your rent
payments you may be able to pay rent arrears in stages. Contact
your landlord to negotiate, alternatively seek free professional
advice from local service centre or Community Links or call
Debtline on 0808 808 4000.
For more information see
I'm in debt and I can't pay the rent
If you plan on going away for a long time let your
landlord know, they may mistakenly think you have abandoned the
I've been asked to leave, what are my
If your landlord has asked you to leave you don't always have to
leave because you have been told to. You should seek legal advice
as your rights will depend on the type of tenancy you hold. If you
live with your landlord you have fewer rights, you should seek
advice at your Local Service Centre.
Your landlord has to follow the correct legal procedure, if they do
not they could be committing an illegal act. You must continue to
pay your rent while you are staying in the property.
What is the legal eviction process?
In general, tenants will be first served with some form of written
notice from the landlord informing them that the tenancy is to be
brought to an end (except if you live with your landlord). This may
be called a 'Notice to Quit' or a 'Notice
of Seeking Possession'. If you receive one of these and do
not want to move, seek legal advice immediately.
If you leave upon the expiry of a Notice and then approach the
council for housing assistance, it is likely you will encounter
The main reasons for legal eviction are:
- Your Assured Shorthold tenancy has ended (check your tenancy
- You don't pay your rent or you are in rent arrears
- You are involved in anti-social behaviour
In most cases the notice period is two months. If you do not
leave voluntarily, the landlord will have to apply to the County
Court for a Possession Order.
If the County Court agrees with your landlord they will issue a
Possession Order for you to leave the property, usually within
14-28 days. If you stay in the property after this date, your
landlord must seek a Bailiff's Warrant to evict you and you will
also be liable for court costs.
How do I know if I am being illegally
Your landlord must follow the correct legal procedures. In most
cases, a tenant will have the right not to be evicted from their
accommodation until the landlord has first obtained a formal
possession order from the County Court. This order can only be
enforced by a Bailiff appointed by the Court.
If your landlord is threatening to evict you before this stage
contact your Local Service Centre, Community Links, or Shelter and
speak to an advisor who will be able to tell you about the rights
you have to remain in your home.
You are being illegally evicted if:
- You received no notice before being told to leave
- The locks were changed while you were out
- You were threatened and forced to leave
- You were physically thrown out
- You were stopped from getting into certain parts of your
REMEMBER: The only person that can physically remove you from your
home is a Court Bailiff. If the landlord tries to remove you it is
a criminal offence.
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