Private tenants handbook

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8. Rogue landlords

Retaliatory Eviction

In extreme cases a landlord could decide to evict a tenant rather than have to pay for repairs. However, from 1 October 2015 a landlord cannot evict a tenant who has made a legitimate complaint about the condition of their property, if the local authority has confirmed that repair work is required at the property, for six months.

If the council serve a relevant improvement notice after the Section 21 notice has been served, then the Section 21 notice will be invalid.  However, if the improvement notice is served after a possession order has been made the possession order will remain.

Furthermore, a landlord will not be allowed to evict a tenant if they have failed to provide gas safety certificates or energy performance certificates.

Harassment

Harassment is action taken by a landlord (or someone acting on their behalf) that deliberately disrupts your life or makes you want to leave the property. Harassment can take many different forms e.g. entering your property without your permission (unless it’s an emergency). If you believe that you are being harassed in your property contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01392 265147 or email privatesectorhousing@exeter.gov.uk

Illegal eviction

Your landlord will be breaking the law if they try to evict you without following the correct procedure. Illegal eviction can include changing the locks when you are out and physically removing you from the property. You must call the Police if your landlord and/or agent uses or threatens you with violence.

Your landlord has to follow the correct procedure through the courts before a bailiff can legally remove you from the property. Only a bailiff can legally evict you from a property and they must have a valid warrant from the court.

Contact the Housing Solutions Team on 01392 265726 if you believe that you are being illegally evicted from your property. If the eviction happens at the weekend or in the evening you can call Exeter City Council’s main number on 01392 277 888.

Further information on these topics and more can be found here: