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Unlawful Eviction During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Unlawful Eviction During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The current outbreak of coronavirus has greatly impacted upon all aspects of our lives. In a time when we are encouraged to remain in our homes, the thought of losing that home is of even greater concern. With many people facing uncertainty over their financial future and potential loss of income, they may not be able to make rent payments and could fall into arrears.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 has provided some additional protection for tenants, by extending the time period for possession notices given from 26 March 2020.

The courts have also stopped the majority of possession hearings until after 25 June 2020. Whilst delays to possession proceedings may be beneficial to tenants, any delay could be greatly frustrating to the landlord.

Any landlord wanting to take back possession of their property must serve the correct notice on their tenant and obtain an order for possession from the courts. However, with increased delays, there is a risk that some may start taking the law into their own hands. It is therefore important that tenants are aware of their rights and the action they can take against their landlord.

An unlawful eviction happens when a landlord does not follow the correct procedure. This can include your landlord

  • changing the locks when you are out;
  • stopping you from entering your home;
  • physically removing you from your home; and,
  • forcing you to leave through threats or harassment.

Unlawfully evicted tenants may be able to regain entry to their homes by applying to the courts for an injunction against their landlord. An injunction can order your landlord to let you back into the property and can order your landlord to stop threatening or harassing you.

Injunction applications for unlawful eviction remain a priority for the courts and may be held by telephone or video hearings. If you think you have been unlawfully evicted and been made homeless, or at risk of violence, please let us know.

Swain & Co Solicitors are able to help tenants who have been unlawfully evicted. If you receive benefits or you have a low income you may qualify for legal aid to cover the costs involved. If you require assistance or advice, please contact our Team by telephone or using the online enquiry form. You can call us on 02392 483322 or on our free phone number 0800 0351 999.

If faced with unlawful eviction tenants should contact the police and their local council for advice and support.

If you are made homeless and have nowhere to stay, you may be able to get help from your local council. If you are eligible and in priority need the council can provide short-term emergency housing. Please contact your local council’s housing team to discuss the options available.

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