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If you are living in privately rented accommodation the law protects you against harassment and illegal eviction by your landlord. Both of these acts are criminal offences and victims are able to claim damages, through the civil court.

Landlords' Obligations

The law makes it an offence for a landlord to:

  • Commit acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or anyone living with them.
  • Persistently withdraw or withhold services for which the tenant has a reasonable need to live in the premises as a home.
  • Make a tenant leave their home, or stop using part of it.
  • Do anything that stops a tenant doing the things they could normally expect to do.
  • Take someone's home away from them without following the legal process.

If someone is convicted by the Magistrates Courts of an offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, they may have to pay a fine, be sent to prison for six months, or both. If the case goes to the Crown Court, the punishment will be much bigger fine, longer prison sentence, or both.

What can I do if I am having problems with my landlord?

If you think that your landlord is trying to stop you enjoying your property, or is trying to drive you out of your property, please contact the Private Sector Housing Enforcement team.

Alternatively you can seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or your Solicitor.