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Illegal Eviction and Harassment

Illegal eviction and harassment information.

The majority of landlords and letting agents operate their business in a legally compliant manner, however there are some that resort to harassment or illegal eviction to force tenants to leave their homes.

The Protection from eviction Act 1977 makes it an offence to:

  • do acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or anyone living with him or her; or
  • persistently withdraw or withhold services for which the tenant has a reasonable need to live in the premises as a home.

It is an offence to do any of the things described above intending, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, that they would cause the tenant to leave their home, or stop using part of it, or stop doing the things a tenant should normally expect to be able to do. It is also an offence to take someone's home away from him or her unlawfully. The precise offences are set out in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, which has been made stronger by the Housing Act 1988.

A person who is convicted by magistrates of an offence under the Protection from Eviction Act may have to pay a maximum fine of £5,000*, or be sent to prison for six months, or both. If the case goes to the Crown Court, the punishment can be prison for up to two years, or a fine, or both.

For more information, please see the harassment and illegal eviction pages on the GOV.UK website: Harassment and illegal evictions