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Being evicted : Court action

Most tenants can only be evicted if their landlord starts court action and gets a possession order.

If you are being evicted, find out here what happens before, during and after any court hearing.

Always get urgent advice from Shelter Cymru if you are being evicted.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The way the courts are dealing with possession cases has changed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Step-by-step guide to possession proceedings during Covid19

Courts are still able to process possession cases but bailiffs in Wales are unable to carry out any evictions until after 30 June 2021, except in limited circumstances, such as if you are being evicted for anti-social behaviour. This means that even if your landlord has obtained a possession order from the court, in most cases bailiffs will not currently be able to evict you from your home.

There are also some new stages in the possession process. These include:

Reactivation Notices: if your landlord started court proceedings before 3 August 2020 it is likely that it was put on hold for a time. Your landlord must send a Reactivation Notice to you and the court to re-start the case. In the notice they must give information to the court about the impact coronavirus has had on you and your family. Make sure you tell your landlord straight away if you are struggling because of coronavirus, for example, if your income has reduced and you cannot pay your rent. It is best to do this in an email. Your landlord will then have to pass this information on to the court in any Reactivation Notice.

Review Date: in most cases the court will set a Review Date for the judge to review the papers and see if an agreement can be reached before a court hearing takes place. You don’t need to go to court on the Review Date but you will be told when it is so that you can try and make an agreement if possible.

Courts remain open but some hearings might be dealt with by telephone or a video link. Make sure you contact the court in advance of any court hearing if you are worried about going to the court because of coronavirus.

Court duty advisers are available to help you on any Review Date or at any possession hearing. Details of how to contact an adviser should be sent to you with the papers from the court.

If you have received possession papers from the county court use our guide to find out what will happen next.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, see our advice.

Always get advice if possession proceedings have started against you. You could still lose your home during the pandemic.

I am being evicted : do I have to go to court?

For most tenants, if you have not moved out of your home after any notice has ended, your landlord can apply to court for a possession order to legally evict you.

In most cases, the court will set a court hearing and will write to you to tell you the date of any court hearing. It is important that you go to the court hearing. You have more chance of keeping your home if you attend.

Important: If you are being evicted, don’t assume that your landlord has to get a possession order or that there will automatically be a court hearing. The procedure your landlord has to follow depends on the type of tenancy you have. Check these pages to see what should happen in the most common types of tenancy:

What is a ‘possession order’?

A ‘possession order’ ends your legal right to live in the property.

At the court hearing, the judge can decide whether to :

  • make an outright possession order
  • make a postponed or suspended possession order
  • adjourn the case
  • dismiss the case
  • make a money judgment.

See the page below for more information about each of these types of order.

If your landlord applies for a possession order it is a civil matter and will be dealt with by the county court. Being taken to the county court is not the same as going to a criminal court.

Court duty advisers

Many courts have a duty adviser or solicitor who may be able to give you last-minute advice at court on the day of the hearing. This is called the court duty scheme. You can find out more about the scheme and how to access it here.

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

Letters from the court

If your landlord has applied to the court for a possession order, the court will send you a letter to tell you what happens next.

What happens in court?

Find out what to expect if you go to court for a possession hearing.

What orders can the court make?

There are a number of orders the court can make at a possession hearing. Find out more here.

Changing the possession order

If a possession order is made you might be able to apply to have the order cancelled, the terms of the order changed, or the date in the possession order delayed.

Eviction by the bailiff

If you haven’t left by the date the court says in the possession order, or you do not keep to the terms of the order, your landlord can arrange for a bailiff to evict you.

After eviction

This section looks at the limited action that can be taken after the bailiffs have carried out an eviction.

This page was last updated on: March 22, 2021

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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