Possession of Property Solicitors for Tenants
It is a criminal offence for your landlord to take away your home through illegal means and the law is there to protect you.
If you believe that your landlord has taken, or is trying to take, unlawful possession of your property you need to take immediate legal advice. Our specialist lawyers will robustly challenge any unlawful activity against you, so contact us today so that we can help to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
What is Unlawful Possession?
There are a number of reasons why a landlord might wish to take back possession of a property from their tenant. It is, however, essential that they follow the correct legal process otherwise they are guilty of unlawful possession and could face prosecution.
There are a number of ways in which a landlord could be in breach of the rules and acting illegally including:
- Changing the locks to the property
- Removing access to some or all of the property
- Moving new tenants into the property
- Moving into the property themselves
- Removing your belongings from the property
- Threatening or forcing you to leave the property
- Physically removing you from the property
These are all examples of unlawful possession and any landlord found to have carried out such illegal activity will face criminal action and a possible prison sentence.
Harassment by a landlord is also taken extremely seriously by the police so if your landlord acts in a way that makes you feel unsafe or threatened or with no alternative but to leave your property you must report it.
Harassment by a landlord includes:
- Preventing access to the property.
- Preventing access to gas, electricity or water.
- Entering the property without providing sufficient notice as laid out in the tenancy agreement.
- Refusing to carry out repairs on the property.
- Threats and physical violence.
- Frequent calls and/or emails beyond reasonable communication.
- Offering financial or other incentives for you to leave the property.
If you are experiencing harassment from your landlord you can report the matter to the police and obtain a county court injunction to prevent any further hostile behaviour.
Know your rights as a Tenant
The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 safeguards the rights of all residential tenants across England and Wales and makes certain that no one loses their home because of the illegal or unfair actions of unscrupulous landlords. The Act ensures that landlords cannot evict their tenants without suitable grounds and the necessary court order.
If a landlord wants to take possession of a property, there is a certain legal process that must be followed:
- Your landlord must inform you in writing of their intention to take possession of the property.
- Your landlord must give you a minimum notice period usually of at least 28 days but this will be dependent on the terms of your tenancy agreement.
- If you don’t leave the property at the end of the notice period, your landlord can then apply for an eviction warrant.
- Only a court-appointed bailiff can remove a private tenant from a property and a landlord is never legally permitted to do so.
How our Tenant Solicitors help you
We have a specialist team at Clifford Johnston & Co. with a proven track record of successfully preventing landlords from taking unlawful possession.
If you have been threatened with eviction, have been served an eviction notice, believe your landlord is trying to take unlawful possession of your home or feel that your landlord is harassing you then we are here to help.
We will offer fair and balanced advice based on your individual situation and will act swiftly to challenge any landlord found to be acting illegally, to secure you a positive outcome.
If you are in rent arrears, a number of agencies and organisations can help and we can advise you on your options so that you don’t have to lose your home.
Legal Aid for Unlawful Possession Claims
Legal fees are often unexpected and you may worry how you will afford them. However you may qualify for legal aid, which would relieve the financial burden and allow you to pursue legal action. Our solicitors can advise you on your eligibility and will guide you through the application process to ensure you have the best possible chance of success.
Get in touch
By choosing to work with us you will have an exceptional team fighting your corner and one that is renowned across the industry for providing the highest standards of legal representation. Our Tenant Solicitors in Manchester & our Housing Solicitors in Stockport are hugely experienced in all Landlord & Tenant dispute claims. Your home is incredibly important, so get in touch with us today to get the best outcome.
For affordable and cost-effective legal advice across Stockport and Manchester contact the team at Clifford Johnston & Co. today.