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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?

Landlords have to follow the proper 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 giving you notice and getting a court order. However, in some cases your landlord may only have to give you 'reasonable notice' to leave (which could be just a few days or less) and does not need to go to court. These are if you:

  • live in a hostel that is run by the council or a housing association;
  • live in holiday accommodation;
  • 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;
  • live in accommodation provided to you as an asylum seeker;
  • live in accommodation that you do not pay any rent for; or
  • are in temporary accommodation provided by the council while you are waiting for a decision on your homelessness application.

Otherwise, your landlord will have to give you written notice that they are going to apply for a court order. The type of notice and the period of notice will depend on the type of tenancy you have. For more information, see the Gurkha Free Legal Advice 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 will need expert help immediately.

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

9. Further help

10 About this leaflet

Logo of Shelter

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Shelter.

Leaflet version: May 2008

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