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6 Losing your Home

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1. Introduction

2. Will the council find me somewhere to live?

3. Does it matter how I become homeless?

4. What if the council offers me somewhere unsuitable?

5. What can I do if I disagree with the council's decision?

6. Where can I go if I need somewhere to stay urgently?

7. What if my landlord wants to evict me?

In most cases landlords have to follow a special legal procedure if they want you to leave - they can't just change the locks when you are out. This is true whether you rent from the council, a housing association, or a private landlord.

It is usually illegal for your landlord to evict you without a court order. However, in some cases you have fewer rights. Your landlord may only have to give you 'reasonable notice' to leave (which could be just a few days or less) if:

  • you live in a hostel or holiday accommodation;  
  • you share living space with your landlord, or your landlord lives in the same house or flat and you share living space with a member of their family.

In most other cases your landlord has to get a court order (called a 'possession order') before you have to leave. Landlords normally have to give you at least two weeks' written notice that they are going to apply to the court. But if they want you to leave because of your anti-social behaviour, they can apply to the court immediately after giving you notice.

The steps that landlords must follow, the amount of notice you are entitled to, and the reasons they can use to evict you depend on the type of tenancy you have. For more information, see the CLS Direct leaflet 'Renting and Letting'.

If you are facing eviction for any reason, you should get specialist help straight away. You may be able to stop the eviction, or delay it until you can sort matters out or find somewhere else to live. This is true even if the bailiffs are on the way. The rules are very complicated so you should get expert help immediately.


8. What can I do if my landlord is harassing me?

9. Further help

10 About this leaflet

Logo of ShelterThis leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Shelter.

Leaflet version: June 2019

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