Protection from eviction and protection from harassment
Protection from eviction and protection from harassment

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Protection from eviction and protection from harassment
  • Unlawful eviction and harassment—criminal offences
  • Protection from eviction—civil protection
  • Recovery of abandoned property

This Practice Note summarises the main offences and statutory provisions against unlawful eviction of certain tenants and licencees. For further detail of the torts and offences of unlawful eviction, and the potential remedies, see Practice Note: Unlawful eviction and quiet enjoyment.

Unlawful eviction and harassment—criminal offences

A landlord commits a criminal offence under section 1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (PEA 1977), if it:

  1. unlawfully deprives a residential tenant or occupier of its occupation of the premises or any part thereof, or attempts to do so. It is a defence to have believed, and had reasonable cause to believe, that the occupier had ceased to reside in the premises, or

    1. does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential tenant or any member of its household, or persistently withdraws or withholds services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises as a residence

    2. and does so either with the intent t