Harassment and illegal eviction

It is illegal for your landlord to harass you or force you to leave your home without following the correct process.

Always contact an adviser if what your landlord is doing seems unfair. You may have more rights than you think. If you think your landlord is discriminating you, have a look at the Open Doors project Youtube video.

Take a look at the pages below and download our free Unlawful Eviction fact sheet.

Practical steps

There are a number of practical steps you can take if you think your landlord is harassing you or threatening to evict you unlawfully:

Keep records
Keep a record of what has been happening. Include:

  • the time, date and place where any incident took place and a short description of what happened
  • photographs of any damage the landlord has caused to the property or your belongings,
  • short descriptions of any incidents by anyone who witnessed them.

Put contact in writing
Try to make all contact that you have with your landlord more formal. The following things may help:

  • contact your landlord only in writing or by email, and keep copies of every letter or email that you send
  • if you have a conversation with your landlord, follow this up with a letter or email that confirms what was said and what was agreed
  • write to your landlord and tell her/him that if the harassment continues you may have to take legal action
  • have a friend or adviser with you whenever you have to deal with your landlord in person.

Report incidents
Report any incidents to the local council and/or to Rent Smart Wales. Licensed private landlords have to comply with a Code of Practice and if they are not doing so then Rent Smart Wales can investigate.

You should also report any serious or violent incidents to the police. Harassment and illegal eviction are criminal offences and your landlord could be prosecuted.

It can sometimes be difficult to get the police to help you but they will usually agree to come to the property to prevent a breach of the peace from taking place. This could be helpful if you have been illegally evicted and need to get back into the property, or reclaim your belongings. An adviser may be able to explain the situation to the police, and clarify the ways in which they can help.

If you have difficulty getting the police to help you, contact an adviser. They might be able to speak to the police on your behalf. If they still do not agree to take action you can complain to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which will investigate your complaint.

Get together with other tenants
If you live in shared accommodation it is possible that your landlord is also harassing other tenants in the property. If this is the case, then you could all join together to form a tenants’ association and approach the landlord as a group. You will have more bargaining power if you act together and your landlord will not be able to single out one person. You can also provide witness statements for other tenants if any incidents occur.

Some types of shared accommodation are known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and councils have extra powers to take action against landlords of HMOs. This might apply to you if you live in a bedsit, a house or flat shared by several households, a hostel or a bed and breakfast hotel.

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

What counts as harassment?

If your landlord does something that interferes with your ability to enjoy living in your home in peace and is intended to make you leave your home or take away your rights, s/he could be guilty of harassment.

What counts as illegal eviction?

An illegal eviction takes place if your landlord makes you leave your home without following the proper legal process.

Why do landlords harass tenants?

Although there is never an excuse for your landlord breaking the law and harassing you or illegally evicting you, in some cases it may help to understand her/his reasons.

How can the council help?

Your local council may be able to help you deal with your landlord if s/he is harassing you or you’ve been illegally evicted. They can do this in a number of ways.

This page was last updated on: June 11, 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.