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Y O U R C O U N C I L Private Rented Sector Harassment and Illegal Eviction.

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Presentation on theme: "Y O U R C O U N C I L Private Rented Sector Harassment and Illegal Eviction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Y O U R C O U N C I L Private Rented Sector Harassment and Illegal Eviction

2 Y O U R C O U N C I L Reasons for harassment and illegal evictions Ignorance of the law Prejudice Frustration with the process of law Financial gain

3 Y O U R C O U N C I L Who is protected by statute? Protection is given to those defined in Sections 1(1) as a ‘residential occupier’ i.e. ‘a person occupying the premises as a residence, whether under contract or by the virtue of any enactment or rule of law giving him the right to remain in occupation or restricting the right of any other person to recover possession of the premises’ Basically Any form of tenants Contractual licensees Excluded occupiers up until the time that ‘reasonable notice’ has expired

4 Y O U R C O U N C I L What is harassment? Harassment is: Any behaviour by any person which is likely to interfere with the occupiers peace and comfort Or A persistent withdrawal of necessary services which is done with the intent of causing the occupier to leave

5 Y O U R C O U N C I L What is harassment? Section 1(3) Protection from Eviction Act (3A) creates a similar offence, but:- Actions must be by the landlord or agent of the landlord and Action can be without intent but s/he knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the conduct is likely to cause the occupier to leave NB. The landlord has a defence if s/he has good reason for the actions

6 Y O U R C O U N C I L Dealing with harassment – what will we do? Establish the status Establish what happened and how often Get tenants to keep records Possible actions Discuss with the landlord Write to the landlord Contact Council’s PSH team Legal action

7 Y O U R C O U N C I L What is illegal eviction? An offence of illegal eviction is committed if: Any person unlawfully deprives, or attempts to unlawfully deprive, a residential occupier of the premises or any part of them Unless the person has reasonable cause to believe the occupier has already left

8 Y O U R C O U N C I L Criminal Offences Who can prosecute? The police - rarely investigate An individual – inadvisable, expensive, legal aid not available, small claims not allowed Local Authorities – most suitable as they have specialist advisors But numbers of cases prosecuted are small

9 Y O U R C O U N C I L Civil Law / Criminal Law Resolves disputes between individuals Enables the state to enforce a public code of conduct Mainly concerned with compensating the loser Mainly concerned with punishing the wrongdoer Civil Courts can award compensation (damages) and grant injunctions Criminal courts can impose fines or imprisonments, can award compensation but less frequently, civil action usually needed Can act on ‘balance of probabilities that one party is more likely to be right than the other Prosecution must prove its case ‘beyond reasonable doubt’

10 Y O U R C O U N C I L Civil remedies Breach of contract Civil wrong Illegal eviction is also a civil wrong (PEA 1977 and HA 1988) Trespass to land or goods Nuisance Assault / battery

11 Y O U R C O U N C I L Damages Special damages General damages Exemplary damages Aggravated damages Nominal damages

12 Y O U R C O U N C I L What can be done? Restoration of utilities by local authority Injunction Interim injunction Arrest warrant

13 Y O U R C O U N C I L Who to contact If you are not sure how to proceed with an eviction or need advice if the situation is getting heated Joy Potter on or Susan Pledger on or


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