We also provide advice on most other housing issues, these are normally dealt with by a generalist adviser.
The number of people turning to Citizens Advice for help with illegal evictions in privately rented homes has risen by almost half over the last year.
Citizens Advice heard from people whose landlords tried to evict them for missing a single rent payment, changed the locks without warning, and in some cases seized their belongings.
Read the full report by clicking the button below:
Citizens Advice is offering advice to tenants in England facing illegal eviction:
Seek help from a professional adviser as soon as possible. You can call Adviceline on 03444 111 444, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk or contact your local Citizens Advice.
Most tenants have the right to stay in a property until their contract ends, unless their landlord goes through a series of legal procedures to evict them. This can take several months and in some case you might be able to apply to have the procedures suspended. Seek advice to find out what your rights are, and don’t leave the property without an eviction order from the county court.
Lodgers have fewer rights than other tenants. If you live with your landlord they won’t have to go to court to evict you, but they must still give you a reasonable period of notice, which will depend on your circumstances.
Your landlord may have committed a criminal offence if they try to evict you without going through the legal procedures. Ask your local council for help with this. You might also want to speak to a solicitor if you are thinking about making a claim for compensation.
Call the police immediately if your landlord threatens or harasses you
Frequently Asked Questions
Is everyone eligible for specialist housing advice?
Our housing department works under a Legal Aid contract so can provide specialist housing advice to people who are financially eligible for Legal Aid. If you are not eligible for Legal Aid we can still provide you with advice, this would be from one of our generalist advisers. The bureau will complete a check during your first visit, f you are in receipt of benefits or in low paid work, you are likely to be eligible.
What should I bring with me when I visit the bureau?
You should bring all documents relating to your problem, in particular any court documents that you have received. To help us check your eligibility for Legal Aid you will need to provide proof of income for the last one month (up to and including the day of your visit to the bureau). Proof of your income includes payslips for wage payments, recent benefit letters or a bank statement for other sources of income (running up to and including the day you visit the bureau).
How important is it that I provide proof of income?
It is a Legal Aid requirement that we obtain proof of income before starting to provide you with advice(except in emergency cases). For this reason it is important that you provide us with proof of your income at the earliest possible time.
I have received an eviction warrant from the court, is it too late to save my home?
No. It is possible to ask the court to stop eviction warrants going ahead, although the court will not be able to do so in all cases. Seek advice immediately.
Are problems with mortgage arrears treated the same way as for rent arrears?
Legal Aid restrictions mean cases of mortgage arrears are not treated in the same way as cases of rent arrears. This means that some of the advice provided on mortgage cases may need to be provided by our Money Advice department, rather than the Housing department.
What can the Housing department do to help me?
Housing specialists are able to provide legal advice, negotiate with someone you are in dispute with, complete legal documents and provide representation at court hearings.