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Harassment and illegal eviction

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

Always get advice if what your landlord is doing seems unfair. You may have more rights than you think.

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

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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 the right notice or a court order
  • locks you out of your home.

Most tenants are currently entitled to 3 or 6 months’ notice and all court proceedings for eviction are on hold until the 23 August 2020.

If your landlord tries to evict you, seek advice urgently. Contact Shelter Cymru, your local council, Rent Smart Wales or the police.

What can I do if my landlord is harassing me or threatening to evict me?

There are a number of practical steps you can take:

Write to or email your landlord or letting agent
Write to or email your landlord or letting agent to tell them to stop harassing or threatening you. Tell them that they are acting unlawfully and if it continues you will take legal action.

Keep copies of every letter or email that you send and/or receive.

If you have a conversation with your landlord or agent follow this up with a letter or email that confirms what was said and what was agreed.

Stay safe
Have a friend or adviser with you whenever you have to deal with your landlord in person.

Contact the police if your landlord:

  • makes you feel unsafe in your home
  • threatens you with violence or is violent.

Call 101 or 999 if it is an emergency. You can call them any time of day or night.

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 (you might want to keep a diary)
  • photographs or videos of any damage the landlord has caused to the property or your belongings,
  • short descriptions of any incidents by anyone who witnessed them.

These records will be important if you need to take legal action against your landlord.

Report incidents
Report any incidents to the local council and/or to Rent Smart Wales. Licensed private landlords and letting agents have to comply with a Code of Practice and if they are not doing so Rent Smart Wales can investigate and get in touch with them on your behalf.

If you have been illegally evicted and need to get back into the property, or get your belongings back you should also report the matter the police.  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.

The council’s homelessness department may help you with emergency accommodation if you’re illegally evicted or forced to leave your home because of harassment.

Get together with other tenants
If you live in shared accommodation your landlord might also be harassing other tenants. If this is the case, you could all join together and approach the landlord as a group.

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 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

What counts as harassment?

Harassment can be any action your landlord takes to deliberately disrupt your life or make you leave your property.

What counts as illegal eviction?

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

Preventing harassment or illegal eviction

There is never an excuse for your landlord to break the law but there might be things you can do to stop them carrying out any threats.

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.

This page was last updated on: July 27, 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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