Illegal eviction & harassment

Definition of illegal eviction

  • Illegal eviction is when a residential occupier is unlawfully left without either all or part of their accommodation.
  • It is illegal to attempt to unlawfully evict and it is nearly always illegal to evict a tenant without going to court first.

It does not matter if:

  • the residential occupier is a tenant or licensee,
  • if the tenant has broken their contract e.g. they owe rent, or won't let the landlord in to do repairs, or the fixed term has come to an end,
  • the landlord has a possession order as it must be enforced with a bailiff's warrant.

Your landlord may be guilty of illegal eviction if you:

  • are locked out of a room
  • are left without a room that is normally shared with other people e.g. kitchen or living room
  • have part of the home taken away because of building works
  • are evicted without a court order.

Definition of harassment

Unless landlords or their agents can show that they have good reason for doing these things, it’s an offence for them to:

  • disturb the peace and comfort of their tenants;
  • stop necessary services like water, gas and electricity, or lifts in a block of flats; or
  • act in a way that is likely to cause the tenants to leave their home or stop them from exercising their rights.

Council action to prevent harassment and illegal eviction

We try to prevent harassment and illegal eviction by:

  • resolving disputes between landlords and tenants
  • negotiating with your landlord to allow you to return to your home if you want to/or to stop the harassment
  • possibly taking legal action against the offender if there's proof that an offence has occurred.

 

West Oxfordshire District Council
Elmfield
New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PB