What to Do If You Are Threatened With an Eviction

Information about different types of eviction and what you can do when you receive an eviction notice.

 

Try not to panic: stay calm and assess the situation. Remember to read the eviction notice carefully and understand why you are being evicted and what the deadlines are. Ask why you are being evicted and if there is anything you can do to stay. Sometimes, landlords may give you more time to find a new place.

Are you being evicted from private housing?
Steps for Different Types of Tenancies:
  1. Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST):
    • Section 21 Notice: Your landlord can evict you without a reason but must give you at least 2 months’ notice.
    • Section 8 Notice: Your landlord must give a specific reason, such as unpaid rent. The notice period can vary.
  2. Assured Tenancy:
    • Notice to Quit: Your landlord must give a valid reason and a proper notice period.
  3. Excluded Tenancy or License (Lodgers):
    • Reasonable Notice: Usually the same as the rent payment period (e.g., weekly notice for weekly rent).

Are you being evicted from local authority housing or site?
Stages of Eviction
  • Notice of Seeking Possession:
    • The local authority must give you a written notice stating their intention to seek possession of the property.
  • Notice Period:
    • You will usually be given 4 weeks’ notice. This can be longer depending on the situation.
  • Court Action:
    • If you do not leave after the notice period, the local authority will need to get a court order. You will receive a letter about the court date.
  • Court Hearing:
    • Attend the court hearing. You can explain your situation to the judge. The judge will decide if you can stay or if you need to leave.
  • Eviction:
    • If the court grants an eviction order, you will be given a date to leave. Bailiffs may come to remove you if you do not leave by this date.
Are you being evicted from public land or the highway?
Public Order Laws 

Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

  • Police Eviction: Police can ask you to leave if:
    • You are causing damage.
    • You are being threatening or abusive.
    • There are 6 or more vehicles on the land.
  • Notice Period: Police can tell you to leave immediately or give a short period to leave.
  • Penalty for Not Leaving: If you do not leave, you can be arrested and your vehicles can be taken away.

Section 62A of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

  • Alternative Site: If there is a suitable alternative site provided by the local authority, police can direct you to move there.
  • Immediate Move: You must move to the alternative site straight away or leave the district.
  • Penalty for Not Moving: If you do not move within the time frame given, you could be fined arrested and or vehicles could be taken away.

Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

  • Local Authority Eviction: The local council can ask you to leave if you are on land without permission.
  • Notice Period: The council must give you a written notice to leave.
  • Court Order: If you do not leave, the council can go to court to get an order to move you.
Are you being evicted by the Local Planning Authority?
Planning Permission
  • Planning Permission: You need approval from the council to use land for a caravan site.
  • Site Licence: You need a licence to legally run a caravan site.
How to Apply
  • More Information: Visit our website to learn how to apply for planning permission.
What Happens Without Permission
  • Enforcement Action: Without planning permission, the Local Planning Authority (LPA) can take action against you.
  • Owning the Land: Even if you own the land, you can’t live there without planning permission.
  • Legal Consequences: If you don’t respond to an injunction, you could be taken to court.
What you can do
Find Out About the Land
  • Type of Land: Is it private land, public land, or a highway?
  • Owner: Who owns the land? Is it a private landowner, a local authority, the police, or a planning authority?
Find Out Who is Evicting You
  • Evictor: Who is making you leave? Is it a private landowner, a local authority, the police, or a planning authority?
Find Out Which Laws Are Being Used
  • Laws: What law or power is being used to evict you? Examples are Section 61 eviction, Section 62a, Section 77, Part 55, etc.
Know Your Rights
  • Seek Advice: Contact a housing advice service, such as Shelter, Citizens Advice Bureau, or a legal aid organization to understand your rights.
  • Illegal Evictions: If you think your eviction is illegal, you can get help to challenge it.
  • Don’t Wait: If you wait until the last minute, there might not be much that can be done to help you.
Further resources
Community Law Partnership
Shelter
  • Phone: 0808 800 4444
  • Website: Shelter
Friends, Families and Travellers
  • Advice Line: 01273 234 777
    • Hours: 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays)
Important Advice
  • Contact a Solicitor: If you are facing eviction, it is advisable to contact a solicitor.
  • Services Directory: We have a list of solicitors who are experienced with site issues and evictions.

Correct as of June 2024.

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