Harassment can include anything done by a landlord or someone acting on his/her behalf, which stops you living quietly and safely in your home.
You may feel you have no choice but to leave your home.
Harassment is difficult to define but it can cover such things as:
- Interfering with your gas, water or electricity supply
- Threatening to make you leave your home
- Interfering with you possessions
- Entering your home without your consent
- Verbal or written threats of abuse
- Harassing you because of your gender, race or sexuality
What to do
If you think the landlord is harassing you:
- Keep a diary, notes, and photographs detailing all the events that take place
- Keep any relevant text messages from the landlord and consider recording conversations
- Ask the landlord to put all communication in writing
- Keep names and addresses of people involved, especially witnesses of incidents including police officers
- If you have to deal with the landlord in person, try to have someone present with you as a witness
- Write to the landlord to say that if harassment continues you may be forced to leave and/or take legal action.
Call the police in an emergency if you feel you at imminent risk of assault, if your property has been damaged or stolen, or if the landlord has locked you out.
If your landlord has told you to leave with less than proper notice, or if you feel they are harassing you to get you to leave, contact Housing Options who can remind the landlord what the law requires and what the penalties are.
The legal remedy to stop illegal eviction or harassment is for you to apply to the County Court to get a Court order. This will require your landlord to stop harassing you and /or to give you back your home if you have been unlawfully evicted. This can be an effective form of action because if your landlord breaches the order they can be sent to prison. You can also seek compensation. To discuss your legal options speak for free to DHA on 01332 287 850 or the Civil Legal Advice Helpline on 0845 345 4345, or find yourself a solicitor.
Where possible the Council will prosecute a landlord for illegal eviction or harassment of a residential occupier under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
Successful prosecution punishes the landlord to stop them offending again rather than benefiting you as the affected tenant.
If the Council decides to investigate you will need to provide full details of any incidents and any people involved including witnesses, and if the Council proceeds with a prosecution you and any other witnesses will be required to give evidence in Court.