Can the council help me?
- If you are at risk of losing your home due to harassment or illegal eviction your council should help you
- The council should offer you information, advice and help to prevent you becoming homeless
Your local council may be able to help you if you are being harassed by your landlord or agent, or if you have been illegally evicted.
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 may have ‘tenancy relations officers’ who specialise in helping occupiers who are being harassed or threatened with illegal eviction. Even if your council does does not have a tenancy relations officer, the homelessness team should help you. Find contact details for your local council here.
You might have to keep trying to get through to the right council team. When you get through, ask for the number of someone you can call if your landlord turns up at the property to harass or illegally evict you.
Can they help me negotiate with my landlord?
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 might not be able to get help from the tenancy relations officer. You can call Shelter Cymru’s expert housing advice helpline if you are in this situation.
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 has the power to prosecute landlords for illegal eviction or harassment but 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 rights (such as a regulated tenancy or secure occupation contract).
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.
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 or the switchboard.
Find contact details for your local council here.
If you need urgent help at night or the weekend and cannot get through to your local council, contact:
- Shelter Cymru 08000 495 495 (9am–4pm, Mon to Fri)
- Shelter 0808 800 4444 (8am-8pm Mon to Fri, 9am-5pm Sat/Sun)
- Police – 101 or 999 in an emergency.
What if the council won’t help me?
Report to Rent Smart Wales
Rent Smart Wales may be able to investigate if they believe that your landlord or letting agent is acting unlawfully. Check the Rent Smart Wales website to see if your landlord is registered and what to do if you have a complaint.
Contact the police
Many illegal evictions take place after office hours so it can be difficult to get help. Illegal eviction is a criminal offence and the police should be able to help you. Call the police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency. Find contact numbers for the police here.
Complain to the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales
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.