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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have just been evicted. We were called at around 8pm and

Customer Question

We have just been evicted. We were called at around 8pm and told to be out of the house that night, tonight. We do not feel that this was 'reasonable notice' Can we take any action against the landlady? And, what rights do we have in relation to some of our belongings that are still in the room?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Was there a court order for possession? Who were you evicted by please?
JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

No, there was no court order for possession. We were evicted by the landlady, she does not own the house, she is subletting to others with the permission of the owner of the house.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

The situation is that we found somewhere else to live and we gave notice, one month's notice, in the form of a text message, it was a longish message, and the part that said that we were giving her one month's notice did not arrive to her phone - so later that day we told her.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

Then, over Easter, the Thursday before Easter the woman who's flat we were going to sublet for the summer changed her mind about moving out and decided to stay where she was. She changed her mind on Easter Thursday the day we were going to pick up the keys and move in!

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

So, the situation is that someone let us down and changed their mind about moving from the property that we were going to move to around 1 x week ago. Our rent was paid up until the end of April and we were then wanting time to find somewhere else to live.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

In the meantime, the landlady and a man who lives in the house, whom she is very friendly with had arranged for one of his friends to take the room. We spoke to her about the situation and she continued to put a lot of pressure on us to move out, even though we had not found anywhere to go. We have felt as if it is only us that is shouldering the fall out from someone changing their mind.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

So, there was a verbal agreement for her to move in this Sunday (that had given us just a week to find somewhere to move to although we had asked for a month) and we had understood that she would be sleeping in the living room, as people often do in this house e.g. couch surfers until Sunday. We had wanted to talk to her, the landlady, the other man in the house and to humanly come to some kind of solution that was going to help everyone out.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

We have spent the whole of the last week looking for somewhere to move to, both a place for ourselves (our original plan) and an interim place - really, a whole month is needed to find somewhere and we have been struggling with the pressure, physically feeling very unwell.

Alex Watts :

This is an unlawful eviction - to be evicted there MUST be a Court Order

Alex Watts :

And even if there is a Court order you can ONLY be evicted by CERTIFIED bailiffs

Alex Watts :

There is protection under the Unlawful Eviction Act 1977

Alex Watts :

You should urgently speak to the Council

Alex Watts :

This is an unlawful eviction and the Landlord can be PROSECUTED

Alex Watts :

So no, you can't be evicted without a Court order

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

"Rules for excluded tenancies or licenses

If you have an excluded tenancy or licence (eg you live with your landlord), your landlord doesn’t have to go to court to evict you.

Your landlord only needs to give you ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. The notice doesn’t have to be in writing.

There are no set rules about what’s reasonable. It depends on:

  • how long you’ve been living there
  • how often you pay the rent
  • whether you get on with your landlord
  • how quickly the landlord needs another person to move in

They can then change the locks on your rooms, even if you’ve left your belongings there. However, they must give your belongings back to you.

If you don’t think you’ve been given enough warning to leave, contact your local council for advice. Your council can take action if your landlord has evicted you illegally.

Shelter has more information about eviction of excluded occupiers."

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

Rules for excluded tenancies or licenses

If you have an excluded tenancy or licence (eg you live with your landlord), your landlord doesn’t have to go to court to evict you.

Your landlord only needs to give you ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. The notice doesn’t have to be in writing.

There are no set rules about what’s reasonable. It depends on:

  • how long you’ve been living there
  • how often you pay the rent
  • whether you get on with your landlord
  • how quickly the landlord needs another person to move in

They can then change the locks on your rooms, even if you’ve left your belongings there. However, they must give your belongings back to you.

If you don’t think you’ve been given enough warning to leave, contact your local council for advice. Your council can take action if your landlord has evicted you illegally.

Shelter has more information about eviction of excluded occupiers.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

Our understanding is that Rishi (or me as well?) are 'excluded occupiers' in law and that therefore she would not need to obtain a court order to evict us she would only legally need to give us 'reasonable notice' to leave. Our question relates primarily to Rishi, what rights does he have? And, what constitutes 'reasonable notice' in this case? And, if this can be considered to be 'unreasonable notice' then what action can he take? In relation to myself, sometimes staying with Rishi but with no written agreement with the landlady to be there, knowing if I can legally enter the building and be with Rishi, or stay there overnight would also be helpful. Not, that we desperately want to do this. Primarily we want to know if this does constitute an unlawful eviction and if this is 'unreasonable notice' and if so what action we can take immediately and thereafter, and what we can hope to gain from that. Also, what it would be advisable to communicate to the landlady at this stage? And, to know clearly what our rights of access are re. getting our belongings and returning or retaining a key to the building. Many thanks!

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

Notice Given By Tenant

If you give notice to the landlord, and you then decide not to leave, your landlord may apply to the court for possession without recourse to the 1988 Housing Act. It should be noted that under these situations, the landlord may be able to charge (and enforce) double rent on the overstay under section 18 of the 1737 Distress for Rent Act.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

Rishi gave notice in a text message, the complete and relevant part of the text message was not received, the landlady then found out the he was giving notice through me.

JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

Lodgers

If you live in the same property as your landlord, you do not have the protection of the 1988 Housing Act - but you are still protected by the Protection From Eviction Act 1977. You must be given 'reasonable notice' which is usually equal to the rent payment frequency. Other than this, you have no rights, although if you have a contract that specifies more notice, then you can attempt to obtain damages through the courts after the event. The landlord is entitled to change the locks and refuse you access if you do not comply with the notice given.
JACUSTOMER-eyeuac9n- :

Rishi was given 3 hours to leave. His rent payment frequency is monthly. This does not seem as if it was reasonable notice, what are his rights right now?

Alex Watts :

She has still unlawfully evicted you.

Alex Watts :

Speak to the Council - they can take action and prosecute.

Alex Watts :

You should have been given reasonable notice - which should have been 1 month.

Alex Watts :

Therefore contact the Council

Alex Watts :

Does this help?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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