We fight for your rights | Expert advice on Housing and Property Law
WHY USE SWAIN & CO SOLICITORS?
- We offer initial a FREE consultation to discuss your options.
- Legal Aid is available for most of the Housing Law related inquiries.
- We have outreach points around South Hampshire - we can come to you. Save your travelling cost!
- We offer a number of payment options. Including, Legal Help, Legal Aid, No Win No Fee and more.
- We have offices across Hampshire in central locations that can easily be accessed by public transport.
- Swain & Co Solicitors are one of the few solicitors that provide advice and representation purely for individuals, purely for tenants.
- We are committed to ensure that your housing needs and rights are recognised by your landlord, tenant agency or your local council/housing association.
- We can advise you through the housing court desk, which is free for anyone regardless of your income.
WHAT SWAIN & CO SOLICITORS CAN HELP YOU WITH?
Below are a series of scenarios that we could help you with;
- If your landlord tries to evict you without following the correct procedures/protocol.
- You come home to find your landlord has changed the door locks.
- Stops you from getting into parts of your home
- If you are homeless we can help you to find a shelter.
- If you are likely to be homeless, we can help you with making relevant applications in order for you to find a place to leave.
- If your landlord or housing association has applied to the Court for possession of your home.
- If you have fallen behind with your payments and your mortgage company trying to evict you.
- Help negotiate with your mortgage lender.
- If you have been accused of antisocial behaviour.
- Your landlord is trying to evict you for antisocial behaviour with false allegations.
- You had some loud parties but didn’t realise that your neighbours minded, they have complained and your landlord is trying to evict you even though you have made up with your neighbours.
- Your family and friends come and go all the time, as a result your landlord is accusing you for sub-letting.
- If your rented property is in a poor state of repair.
- If you are suffering with disrepair in your property and it is causing a serious risk to your health.
- If your landlord is ignoring you when you raised issues in the rented property.
- Your landlord is trying to charge you for the repairs that are not your fault.
- Your landlord is asking you to leave as a result of you asking them to repair the house.
- You wish to get your rent down as your landlord has refuse to repair the house.
- Your house is full of pests and vermin (depend on who is responsible).
- You have a privately rented property and your landlord is refusing to return your deposit.
- Your deposit has reduced due to repair that is nothing to do with you.
- Your landlord has failed to protect your deposit and is trying to evict you.
- Have you have been served a notice to quit but you think you might have succession rights?
Harassment and neighbour Issues
- If you are in rented accommodation, are you are been affected the behaviour of your neighbours?
- If you have received serious threats or intimidation, we can look to assist you.
- Unfair increases in your rent that aren’t in your tenancy agreement
- Help you with repossession.
- Applying for a council housing on the back of homelessness application.
WHAT OUR PREVIOUS CLIENTS SAID ABOUT OUR SERVICES?
I would like to thank Kate Pasfield for all her advice and assistance, her extensive knowledge of complex legal matters have always been explained in a way that the layman can understand, Kate is passionate about fighting for all her vulnerable clients and has been genuinely thoughtful and caring throughout.
I would like to say thank you ... for all the help and support given to me throughout the extent of my case. Before booking an appointment with you I was very worried and clueless with my actions, your support very much helped me feel safe and at ease. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you. Thank you Once Again.
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Housing Issues More Information
What is an Unlawful Eviction? How to stop an Eviction? What are the consequences of an illegal Eviction?
In most circumstances a Landlord cannot evict a tenant themselves and must first obtain a possession order from the Court.
Only once the possession order has been granted can the Landlord instruct Court Bailiffs to carry out the eviction.
When Court Bailiffs can evict you
- You are a private tenant
- You live in the same building as your landlord BUT do not share living spaces
- You are a Council or housing association tenant
- You live in student halls
An unlawful eviction may occur where a Landlord evicts or threatens to evict you without using the proper process.
A victim of unlawful eviction may:
- have the locks to their home changed
- have their belongings destroyed
- be the victim of physical assault
In any case of unlawful eviction, the tenant risks becoming homeless.
When a landlord can evict you without a court order
A landlord can evict you without a court order if you are a lodger in their home sharing living accommodation, you are in a council or housing association hostel, or you are in emergency accommodation while the council considers your homelessness application.
‘What shall I do if I am illegally evicted?’
If you evicted illegally you should contact the police and seek legal advice. With the right legal help you could apply for an unlawful eviction injunction, recover your deposit and explore options of compensation.
How does the Eviction process work?
Nearly all evictions start with the Landlord giving their tenant a ‘Notice Seeking Possession’. This should give you a date when you are requested to leave.
Depending on the grounds for eviction the Landlord is using, the notice usually gives you between 2 weeks and 2 months before the Landlord can take Court action.
If your Landlord is a Council or Housing Association they will usually need to prove that you have breached your tenancy through rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, for example.
If you landlord is a private Landlord they can usually use the Section 21 procedure. This can be used whether or not you are accused of breaching your tenancy.
Section 21 Notice
Your Landlord must follow the proper process in giving you a Section 21 notice.
Step one – the Notice.
- be on Form 6A
- give at least two months’ notice
- adhere to certain rules in order to be valid
Your landlord does not have to give a reason as to why they want you to leave.
Step two – Court action
If you stay in your home passed the date given on the section 21 notice, your landlord can apply to the court. They will apply for a possession order.
This must be done within 6 months of serving you the notice.
The court will send you papers which includes a defence form. The papers will detail what type of possession proceedings your landlord is using.
If you wish to challenge the eviction, it is advised you seek legal help. And, you should complete the defence form.
How long notice to evict a tenant and what are the grounds?
It can take time to evict a tenant. It depends on the process used and notice given.
In general, notice periods given are anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.
If the eviction is challenged, this can take longer.
A landlord can evict you for:
- No reason using a Section 21 notice
- Rent arrears
- Antisocial behaviour
- Causing damage
- Thinking you have moved out
- Asking for repairs
What can a landlord evict you for?
- A landlord can use a section 21 Notice and give no reason at all. You can challenge this. It is important to seek legal help to see if proper legal processes have been used.
- If you do not pay your rent, you risk losing your home. Quick action is needed this happens to you as you may be able to come to an agreement to pay arrears off over time.
- You behaviour is causing problems. If you agree, then you must take action to stop the behaviour that is causing issues.
- Causing damage to your rented home or not caring for it properly can also give landlords reason to evict. Any damage you cause, or have let me caused, should be repaired. If you know what you are doing, then you could do it yourself, or pay proper qualified professionals to repair. If you are neglecting the home, you need to take steps to address this and show how you can keep your home in good condition.
- If you go away for long periods of time, ensure you tell your landlord. If you leave the home for extended times then your landlord may wrongly assume that you have moved out. If this has happened, you must contact your landlord and explain you wish to stay in your home and provide good reasons to explain why you left. It could be that you have a sick relative or working away.
- While most landlords do repairs when needed, some may try to evict you when you ask for repairs to be done. This is called revenge eviction (you can read more here).
- If a partner or ex partner tries to evict you, speak to specialist family lawyers. If you are married or in a civil partnership, you can only be evicted by a court. Therefore, if your ex tries to make you leave without a court order, you do not have to.
Can my landlord change locks?Can the landlord change the locks without a notice?Can landlord lock you out of your flat?What to do if your landlord changes the locks?What to do if your landlord locks you out?
In most circumstances, a Landlord cannot evict you themselves unless they have a court order giving them possession.
A landlord can evict you themselves if you are:
- A lodger
- In a council or housing association hostel
- In emergency accommodation provided by the council while the assess your homelessness application
If your Landlord threatens to take any step to evict you without obtaining a Court order or harasses you it is important that you seek advice immediately.
Coming home to find you have been locked out will be upsetting. We suggest that you call the police in the first instance and seek expert legal advice. You can obtain an injunction against illegal eviction.
There is an eviction process that must be followed if you are not a lodger in your landlord’s house or in hostel or emergency accommodation.
If a Landlord acts unlawfully you can ask the Court to grant an injunction to stop this behaviour. These injunctions can be granted urgently and in some cases can be put in effect within 24 hours.
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*This is not an enhanced list. We are happy to discuss any housing law related matter.
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Swain & Co Solicitors have offices in Havant/Portsmouth, Southampton and Liverpool. We offer Housing Law services in Hampshire through our offices located in Havant and Southampton.