LANDLORD HARASSMENT UK: What exactly is harassment by a private landlord? Find out what steps you can take to stop it.
Is your landlord forcing you to leave the property or disrupting your normal life? Does it make you feel harassed or unable to live in peace?
It is a crime for private landlords to harass their tenants. Your landlord cannot force you out of a property without following the proper procedures.
Harassment by a landlord can include things they do or things they fail to do. As a rule, your landlord could be harassing you if you feel unsafe in the property or you feel forced to leave.
It is illegal for your landlord to harass you because of your race, gender, or your sexuality. Private landlord harassment can also include disruptive behaviour such as:
- Cutting off your utility services such as electricity, gas, or water.
- Withholding property keys (e.g. not giving keys to all registered tenants in the property).
- Refusing, or avoiding, to carry out ongoing repairs to the property.
- Carrying out anti-social behaviour (or by an agent of the landlord).
- Opening your private mail or removes your personal belongings from your room.
- Threatening or violent behaviour or threatens you with physical violence.
Entering your home without your full permission means your landlord could be guilty of harassment. The same applies if they send builders into your room at unsocial hours or without advance notice. An exception could be for emergency repairs.
Note: If any of these happen, you may have a legal right to claim damages through the court system in the United Kingdom.
Illegal Eviction of Tenants: Your Rights
A private landlord may be guilty of breaching illegal eviction legislation if they:
- Do not give proper notice to leave the property according to landlord renting laws.
- Change the locks without you knowing and denying you access.
- Evict you without a court order.
What happens if your landlord’s property gets repossessed by their mortgage lender? In this case the lender must provide you with a notice period so you can search for other accommodation.
As a rule the mortgage lender can have you evicted if they get a possession order. That means you would have no legal right to stay in your home.
But, you would have some rights if your tenancy is binding on the mortgage lender of your landlord. Your tenancy agreement may be binding if:
- The mortgage lender agreed to the tenancy with your landlord.
- You were living in the property when your landlord’s mortgage got granted.
- The lender recognises your tenancy in some way (e.g. asking you to pay rent to them).
What Steps Can You Take?
What can tenants do if they think they are getting harassed? What steps can you take if you get threatened with illegal eviction or someone is repossessing the property you rent?
The first step to take is talking to your local council. As a rule they have someone who specialises in tenant harassment issues.
They will assess whether there is enough evidence of landlord harassment or illegal eviction. In some cases they can also start legal proceedings for you.
Note: You could also contact Shelter housing advice helpline or search for a legal adviser online.
Note: You should always contact the police if you feel threatened or physical violence is involved.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Housing and Local Services: Information on local government housing rules and regional services.
Emergency Council Housing: How to get emergency housing if you are homeless in the United Kingdom.
Accelerated Possession Procedure: Find out what it is and how to get an accelerated possession order.
Housing Association Eviction: The eviction procedures of council or housing association tenants.
Eviction Process for Private Renting: What is the eviction process for private tenants in the UK?
Court Hearing for Tenant Eviction: How does a court possession hearing proceed in England?
House Repossession Process: A guide explaining the legal process of house repossessions in the UK.
Squatting and the Law: What is squatters’ rights and how to remove squatters from your property.