Harassment and Illegal Evictions

If a landlord wants you out the property, they need to go through certain procedures. These procedures can be long and expensive. As a result, some landlords revert to harassment to try and force tenants to leave. There are various types of harassment. If you believe your landlord is resulting in criminal tactics to try and get you to leave the property, it is vital that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. Make contact with our offices to ensure that your rights are protected.

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What is Landlord Harassment?

You are entitled to certain rights as a tenant. A landlord is guilty of harassment if they are violating these rights. If you face harassment from your landlord, it is time to take legal action.

Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law firm, our housing solicitors can help you explore your legal options.

It is essential to be aware of the behaviors that qualify as landlord harassment. Here are eight common behaviors that may constitute landlord harassment:

  • Unauthorized Entry: Your landlord entering your rented property without prior notice or consent clearly violates your privacy rights.
  • Constant Inspection: If your landlord excessively inspects your property without a valid reason or proper notice, it can be considered harassment.
  • Intimidation and Threats: If your landlord uses intimidation tactics or makes threats towards you, such as verbal abuse or physical intimidation, it is a serious form of harassment.
  • Utility Disruptions: Deliberately interrupting essential utilities like water, electricity, or heating to force you out of the property is a form of harassment.
  • Failure to Carry Out Repairs: Landlords must maintain the property and do necessary repairs. Persistent neglect or refusal to address repairs can be a form of harassment.
  • Invasion of Privacy: Your landlord should respect your privacy. If they excessively monitor your activities or install surveillance cameras without your consent, it constitutes harassment.
  • Retaliation: If your landlord takes negative actions against you, such as increasing rent, reducing services, or initiating eviction proceedings in response to your legitimate complaints, it may be considered retaliatory harassment.
  • Unreasonable Contact: Frequent and unnecessary communication from your landlord that goes beyond the normal landlord-tenant relationship, such as excessive phone calls or text messages, can be considered harassment.

It is important to note that these behaviors are not exhaustive, and any conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or oppressive environment can be classified as harassment.

If you experience any of these behaviors, seeking legal advice from experienced housing solicitors is essential to protect your rights and well-being.

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What Constitutes Illegal Eviction?

Regarding eviction, landlords must follow a lawful process to protect your rights as a tenant. While the exact process may vary depending on the specific circumstances and tenancy agreement, the general steps involved are as follows:

  • Serve Notice: The landlord must give the tenant a valid notice to begin eviction. This notice can be either a Section 21 Notice (for a no-fault eviction) or a Section 8 Notice (for eviction due to breaches of the tenancy agreement).
  • Waiting Period: After serving the notice, the tenant typically has a specific period to respond or rectify any breaches. This waiting period allows the tenant to address any issues before further action is taken.
  • Possession Order: If the tenant fails to comply with the notice or resolve the issues within the specified time, the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order. This court order authorizes the eviction and provides a d

eadline for it.

  • Warrant for Possession: The landlord can apply for a warrant for possession if the tenant does not vacate after the date specified on the possession order. This warrant allows the landlord to involve court bailiffs or enforcement officers to physically remove the tenant from the property.

It’s important to note that the eviction process must adhere to specific legal requirements and timelines. Failure to follow these procedures can render the eviction invalid and expose the landlord to legal consequences.

There may be variations to the process depending on factors such as the type of tenancy agreement (assured shorthold tenancy, periodic tenancy), local housing regulations, and any exceptional circumstances or grounds for eviction.

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There are instances where landlords may engage in illegal eviction practices, which seriously violate your rights. Understanding what constitutes illegal eviction is crucial to ensure you can protect yourself.

  • Failure to Follow Proper Procedure: Your landlord must follow the correct legal procedures for eviction, including providing notice and obtaining a court order.
  • Harassment and Intimidation: Landlords engaging in tactics such as threats, constant pressure, or making your living conditions unbearable may be considered illegal eviction.
  • Changing Locks or Forcible Removal: Landlords cannot change the locks without following proper legal procedures, nor can they physically remove you from the property without a court order.
  • Cutting Off Essential Services: Your landlord cannot cut off essential services, such as water, electricity, or heating, to force you out of the property.
  • Retaliatory Eviction: If your landlord attempts to evict you in response to your legitimate complaints about the property’s condition, it may be deemed illegal eviction.
  • Disposing of Belongings: Landlords cannot dispose of your belongings without following proper procedures, even if you have been evicted.
  • Harassing Actions: Any actions that create a hostile environment or intentionally cause distress, such as threats, verbal abuse, or frequent disturbances, may be considered illegal eviction.

If you believe you have been illegally evicted, taking immediate action to protect your rights is crucial. Document all incidents, gather evidence, and seek legal advice to understand your options.

Remember, illegal eviction is a serious offense, and landlords found guilty may face legal consequences. They may also be required to compensate you for damages. Knowing your rights and seeking legal assistance is essential to ensure your rights as a tenant are upheld.

What To Do if You Are Illegally Evicted?

If you find yourself illegally evicted, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights and seek appropriate remedies. Here are some options available to you:

  • Gather Evidence: Collect evidence to support your claim of illegal eviction. It may include photographs or videos of the eviction, witness statements, copies of any correspondence with the landlord, and records of rent payments.
  • Contact the Landlord: Reach out to the landlord to express your concerns and assert your rights. It’s possible that the eviction was a misunderstanding or mistake that can be resolved through communication.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consult a housing solicitor experienced in housing and tenancy law. They can assess your situation, advise you on your rights, and guide you through the legal process.
  • Apply for an Urgent Order: If you believe you have been illegally evicted, you can ask the court for an urgent order to reinstate you in the property. This order can provide temporary relief while the matter is being resolved.
  • Recover Damages: You can seek damages from the landlord for the illegal eviction. This can include compensation for any financial losses, emotional distress, inconvenience, or damage to your belongings.
  • Mediation or Dispute Resolution: In some cases, engaging in mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve without going to court may be beneficial. These processes can facilitate communication and negotiation between you and the landlord.
  • Pursue Legal Action: If necessary, you can act against the landlord to seek redress for the illegal eviction. This may involve filing a claim in court and presenting your case before a judge.

You should act promptly and seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you have been illegally evicted. Experienced housing solicitors can guide you through the specific steps required in your situation and help protect your rights as a tenant.

What Are Your Rights as a Tenant?

As a tenant, you have certain rights and protections under the law, particularly under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. Here are some fundamental rights you should be aware of:

  1. Right to Live in a Safe and Habitable Property: Your landlord is responsible for providing a property that meets essential health and safety standards. It includes ensuring proper maintenance, repairs, and compliance with relevant regulations.
  2. Protection Against Unlawful Eviction: The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 prohibits landlords from evicting you without following proper legal procedures. They cannot force you out of the property or change the locks without obtaining a court order.
  3. Right to Notice: In most cases, your landlord must give you proper notice before seeking to evict you.
  4. Protection from Retaliatory Eviction: If you have raised legitimate concerns about the property’s condition and your landlord has failed to address them, the law protects against retaliatory eviction. This means your landlord cannot evict you simply because you have exercised your rights as a tenant.
  5. Right to Privacy: Your landlord must respect your right to privacy. They should not enter the property without your permission, except in certain exceptional circumstances, such as emergencies, or when required by law.
  6. Rent Repayment Orders: If your landlord has failed to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance, you may be eligible to apply for a Rent Repayment Order. This allows you to reclaim a portion of the rent you have paid due to the landlord’s failure to meet their responsibilities.
  7. Right to Challenge Unfair Terms: Certain terms in your tenancy agreement may be deemed unfair or unenforceable. You have the right to challenge such terms and seek legal advice if you believe they are unreasonable or disadvantageous to you as a tenant.

This is not an exhaustive list of your rights as a tenant, and other laws and regulations may provide additional protections. If you believe your rights have been violated, consult a housing solicitor as soon as possible.


Damages You Can Seek for Illegal Eviction

If you have been illegally evicted, you may be entitled to seek various types of damages to compensate for the harm and losses you have suffered. Here are some of the damages you can potentially pursue:

  • General Damages: These are damages awarded to compensate for the pain, suffering, and inconvenience caused by the illegal eviction. They provide a form of redress for the emotional distress and disruption to your life.
  • Aggravated Damages: Aggravated damages may be awarded in cases where the landlord’s conduct was particularly malicious, vindictive, or oppressive. These damages aim to reflect the additional harm caused by the landlord’s actions.
  • Harassment Damages: If you have experienced harassment from your landlord in addition to the illegal eviction, you may be able to claim damages specifically for the harassment you endured. This can include compensation for any emotional distress or anxiety caused by the landlord’s behavior.
  • Loss of Belongings: If your belongings were damaged, lost, or disposed of due to the illegal eviction, you could seek compensation for the value of those items. You may recover compensation for furniture, personal belongings, and any other possessions affected by the unlawful actions of the landlord.
  • Injunction: In some instances, you may seek an injunction to prevent the landlord from continuing with the illegal eviction or any further harassment. An injunction is a court order that can provide immediate relief and protect your rights as a tenant.
  • Exemplary Damages: Exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, may be awarded in exceptional cases where the landlord’s conduct was particularly egregious or outrageous. These damages are meant to punish the landlord and deter similar behavior in the future.
  • Special Damages: Special damages compensate for any financial losses directly caused by the illegal eviction. Such losses include temporary accommodation expenses, moving costs, and other expenses directly attributable to the landlord’s actions.

You must consult reputable housing solicitors to understand the specific damages you may be eligible to claim based on the circumstances of your case.

Get in touch with our expert Harassment and Illegal Evictions Solicitors today.

How Can Our Solicitors Help?

Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law firm, our experienced solicitors provide comprehensive legal support and guidance if you face issues related to rent arrears, eviction notices, landlord harassment, or illegal eviction.

Our housing solicitors also help you negotiate with your landlord, understand your rights and legal options, and make the best decision. We help you navigate the complicated legal process if your case goes to court.

Contact our housing solicitors today to discuss your case in detail.

Why Adam Bernard Solicitors?

  • We have years of experience in handling harassment claims against landlords and possible illegal evictions.
  • We offer compe