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After a 6 month pause, court proceedings to evict private sector tenants began again on 20th September. If you’re behind on rent payments you could be evicted.
New pandemic protection
Until at least the end of March 2021 landlords must now provide tenants with 6 months’ notice of eviction in all cases bar those with 12 months’ rent arrears or those raising other serious issues – such as anti-social behaviour.
Dealing with rent arrears
Take action as quickly as possible to avoid eviction. Check the amount your landlord says you owe with bank statements – or with the DWP if they pay for you. Check with a benefits calculator such as that in Turn2us.org.uk to see what benefits or grants you might receive. Talk to your landlord about a payment plan.
About eviction for rent arrears
If you don’t pay your rent arrears, your landlord will usually give you a Section 8 or Section 21 notice to quit. At the end of the notice period the landlord will go to court for a “possession order” and if you don’t leave by the date on the possession order, the landlord will need to get a “warrant of possession”. This allows bailiffs to get an “eviction warrant” and evict you.
It’s against the law for your landlord to try to evict you without a warrant of possession. If this happens, call the police using 101. If your landlord is being aggressive and you don’t feel safe call 999.
You might be able to persuade your landlord to let you stay on if your financial circumstances have changed. Otherwise you might be able to persuade the court to stop the eviction if:
If the judge decides to stop the eviction but a warrant has already been issued, you should contact the bailiffs’ office to make sure they know this.
Deciding if you should move before eviction
If you’re going to be homeless after the eviction, it’s possible the council will have to rehouse you. If you think so, you shouldn’t move out until the council has confirmed they’re going to rehouse you in writing. This might stop them from finding you intentionally homeless.
You should bear in mind that the longer you stay on in the property, the more money you might end up owing. You might have to pay court costs, including those of your landlord. You might have to pay your landlord rent, although this isn’t always the case.