Harassment and illegal eviction

A tenant is entitled to live in their rented property without disturbance. The landlord should respect their rights and not do anything that will adversely affect their occupation of the property.


Updates on our service due to Coronavirus

Coronavirus - Information to landlords and tenants: The Coronavirus Act received royal assent on 25 March and with it there are new measures to protections for tenants from eviction during the emergency.

These measures are not principally aimed at good landlords but those unscrupulous landlords who assume that rules will not be enforced.

These new measures are outlined below:

•  Under s.5 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, landlords are now required to give a minimum of 3 months notice to quit, rather than 4 weeks

•  Under s.3 of the Rent Act 1977 proceedings for an order for a landlord to obtain possession  against a tenant may not commence unless the landlord has given the tenant notice, in writing to commence possession proceedings and the notice period is at least 3 months

•  Proceedings may be commenced without compliance with the above, if the court considers it just and equitable

Should tenants be suffering from possible harassment, threats, unlawful notices or poor conditions, they are advised to contact Environmental Health as soon as possible at environmentalhealth@uttlesford.gov.uk, or on 01799  510482.

More information and advice on housing during the coronavirus pandemic can be found on Shelter's Coronavirus housing advice page.


The landlord should only visit the property by appointment or by the invitation of the tenant, except in an emergency. If entry is needed to carry out inspections, maintenance or repairs the tenant should be given 24 hours' notice in writing. In return, the tenant then has to let the landlord or tradespersons in to do necessary repairs. 

A tenant can apply to the county court for an injunction to stop harassment and/or for damages.  You may wish to consult a solicitor with a contract for legal aid to assist with making the application. You can also report serious persistent harassment to the police. You are advised to contact the police if there are any threats of violence.

It is a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act for a landlord to interfere with a tenant's peace and comfort or to persistently withdraw services in order to make them leave. Contact Environmental Health if you think your landlord is harassing you in this way.

You can get general advice on harassment from Citizens Advice .