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Can the council help me?

Your local council may be able to help you deal with your landlord if s/he is harassing you.

If you’ve been illegally evicted, they may be able to help you get back into your home, prosecute your landlord or find you emergency accommodation.

Rent Smart Wales may also be able to investigate any complaints if your private landlord is registered with them. Check the Rent Smart Wales website to see if your landlord is registered and what to do if you have a complaint.


It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without following the proper steps. It does not matter if your landlord wants to evict you because of coronavirus – they must still follow the same steps.

It is likely to be an illegal eviction if your landlord:

  • makes you leave without notice or a court order
  • locks you out of your home.

If your landlord tries to evict you, seek advice urgently. Contact your local council, Rent Smart Wales or the police if you think you have been illegally evicted.

Who should I contact at the council?

Your council should have a team or person, such as a tenancy relations officer, who is responsible for helping tenants who have been harassed or illegally evicted.

Find contact details for your local council here.

Can they help me negotiate with my landlord?

If you are being harassed by your landlord, you should report any incidents to your local council, so that there is an official record of what has been happening. The council may contact your landlord to explain her/his responsibilities and your rights. The council may be able to mediate between you and your landlord to try and sort the problem out.

If you have been illegally evicted from your home, the council may contact your landlord and try to negotiate a way for you to return to your home.

If your landlord is the local council, you will not be able to get help from the tenancy relations officer. Call Shelter Cymru’s expert housing advice helpline.

Can they help me get back into my home?

The council should check your legal rights to stay in your home. It can then contact your landlord to negotiate for you to return.

The council’s tenancy relations officer may be able to go with you to help you re-enter your home.

The council can also give you legal advice. It can advise you about getting a solicitor and about going to court to get an injunction against your landlord.

The council doesn’t charge for help and advice.

Will the council prosecute my landlord?

The council can prosecute your landlord for illegal eviction or harassment. although it is rare for them to do so. A council prosecution is most likely to happen if the harassment has been very serious or if you were evicted from a home where you had strong tenancy rights (such as a regulated or assured tenancy agreement).

The council will need good evidence in order to succeed in a prosecution, and this will include detailed statements from you, and any witnesses. You might need to go to court.

Your landlord may be fined by the court or, in very serious cases, given a prison sentence. The council can also ask the court to award you compensation.

What if I am homeless?

If the illegal eviction has made you homeless, the council may have to help you with emergency accommodation while it looks into your situation. Contact your local council’s homelessness department and ask to make a homelessness application.

If you’re illegally evicted at night or at the weekend, call your council’s emergency out-of-hours number.

To find the number you can:

  • Contact a Shelter Cymru or Shelter adviser:
    • Shelter Cymru – call 08000 495 495 (9.30am – 4pm, Monday to Friday)
    • Shelter – call 0808 800 4444 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm at weekends)
  • search for your council’s contact details. Call the out-of-hours number or the council’s switchboard
  • call 101 to be connected to your local police, who should also have details of the council’s emergency number.

What if the council won’t help me?

If you don’t feel that the council has treated you as it should, you can complain to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. The ombudsman will investigate your complaint and, if s/he agrees with it, can recommend that the council apologises and changes its procedures to avoid similar problems in the future.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

Did you find this helpful?

This page was last updated on: Rhagfyr 2, 2020

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

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