Unlawful eviction and quiet enjoyment
Produced in partnership with Laura Tweedy of Hardwicke Chambers
Unlawful eviction and quiet enjoyment

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Laura Tweedy of Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Unlawful eviction and quiet enjoyment
  • Unlawful eviction
  • Has the occupier’s right to occupy the land been terminated?
  • How does unlawful eviction arise?
  • Civil or criminal offence?
  • Breach of HA 1988, s 27
  • Defences for breach of s 27
  • Remedy for breach of s 27
  • Assessment of damages under s 28
  • Examples of damages
  • more

This Practice Note explains what unlawful eviction is, how and when it may arise from a civil and criminal perspective, the civil remedies available and potential consequential causes of action, in particular a breach of a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

Unlawful eviction

An action for unlawful eviction arises when an occupier is removed from, or prevented from accessing premises which they are entitled to occupy, without the legally prescribed means being used to evict them.

Has the occupier’s right to occupy the land been terminated?

For most occupiers of land (including tenants and licensees), specific legal procedures are required to bring their interest to an end before an occupier can be evicted. The exact procedures vary depending on the type of agreement pursuant to which the land is occupied, and are beyond the scope of this note. See Practice Note: Obtaining possession of a secure tenancy.

If a person breaches these legal safeguards for residential land, they commit unlawful eviction.

How does unlawful eviction arise?

Unlawful eviction can arise by a variety of methods including:

  1. by force

  2. by locks being changed, or

  3. by denial of re-entry of part or the whole of the premises

Civil or criminal offence?

There are two torts and three criminal offences which are specific to unlawful eviction which are capable of being