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.

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 service is called the court duty scheme.

Contact the court where your case is being heard or ask the court staff when you arrive if there is a court duty scheme.

The court duty scheme is free of charge (it is funded by the Legal Aid Agency) and the advisers might be from Shelter Cymru, but not always.

A duty adviser can:

  • give you last-minute advice
  • try to negotiate an agreement with your landlord or their representative
  • speak for you in court.

Arrive at the court early if you want to speak to a duty adviser. Take any relevant documents and letters with you.

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 0345 075 5005.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

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: June 5, 2019

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.