What you should do if you are facing eviction from your home
Data shared exclusively with ITV News has revealed that some one million people are facing the possibility of being evicted from their homes this winter.
Those stark figures come as the soaring cost-of-living continues to weigh heavily on household finances across the UK.
The looming threat of eviction will sound alarming to many at risk Britons, but there are ways you can help mitigate the situation.
The charity Shelter has provided the following tips to help people who are facing the threat of losing their homes.
Make sure that the correct procedures are followed
Landlords and letting agents must follow the right procedures to evict you, they can’t just tell you to leave or change the locks.
Your landlord must give you a section 21 or a section 8 notice as a first step to eviction if you have an assured shorthold tenancy.
Get to know your rights
Check whether you have received a section 21 or section 8 notice and visit the Shelter website to understand your rights and the different eviction processes.
A section 21 eviction notice is also known as a no-fault eviction as landlords do not have to give a reason for evicting you.
Whereas, a section 8 eviction notice is when a landlord provides a legal reason to end your tenancy, for example, if you are in rent arrears.
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Check that the notice is valid
If you have received a section 21 eviction, check if your notice is correct.
If your landlord has made a mistake on the form or not carried out their responsibilities, like protecting your deposit, they will need to start the process all over again.
Keep paying your rent if possible
People being evicted for rent arrears should know it is important to keep paying your rent.
If you can afford to, try to reduce your arrears to below two months’ rent by the time of the court hearing.
Don't move out until you legally have to
The date on your eviction notice is not when you must legally leave the property by.
Your tenancy continues until you agree to leave, or you are evicted by court bailiffs. If you and your family have nowhere else to live, don’t move out until you are evicted through the courts.
Ask your local council for help
If you are worried you could end up homeless, there is help out there. Contact your local council straight away as they may be able to negotiate with your landlord to stop or delay the eviction, or they might be able to help you find a new home.