Evicting your tenants

Harassment, illegal evictions, problematic tenants.

You must follow strict procedures if you want your tenant to leave your property. If you do not follow these procedures you may be guilty of illegally evicting or harassing your tenant.

Harassment and illegal evictions

It’s a crime if you harass or try to force your tenant out of a property without using proper procedures.

If you are found guilty of harassment or illegal eviction, your tenant may have a right to claim damages through the court. Convictions in cases of illegal eviction may carry a prison sentence. 

What is harassment?

Harassment can be anything a landlord does, or fails to do, that makes a tenant feel unsafe in the property. 

This can include for example:

  • threatening to change the locks
  • opening or withholding post
  • entering a tenant's home without permission
  • removing or interfering with your tenant's belongings
  • violent or intimidating language or behaviour
  • persistently cutting off gas, water or electricity
  • demands for money that your tenant doesn't owe or can't pay
  • pressure to move out before a tenancy ends legally

Illegal evictions

You may be guilty of illegal eviction if you:

  • do not give the tenant notice to leave the property
  • change the locks
  • evict without a court order

Even if your property is repossessed by a mortgage lender, the lender must give your tenants notice so they can find other accommodation.

Dealing with problematic tenants

In cases where disputes with tenants arise, landlords have several sources they can go to for the advice they need and there are also services available for resolving disputes:

Sector bodies

Help and advice