Being evicted(67 Posts)
Apologies for posting here, I didn’t know what section would be revelant & im desperate for advice. I have a 2 yo & im 7 months pregnant, I’m on my own, in receipt of universal credit & housing benefit. My landlord has given me 8 weeks notice (section 21) im due to leave on April 4th. I went to the council today & theyve advise me to stay in the property until my landlord has taken me to court & the bailiffs come to kick me out. I’m really not comfortable with this, morally. My landlord (male) also lives above me & im really worried the situation could become volatile if I stayed under those circumstances, (he wants to sell.) Also the timing of all this could mean the bailiffs are knocking on my door to kick me out when I’m due/have just had my second baby. My question is, if I leave when the section 21 says (4th April) & go to the council that day will they help me? Or will they say I’ve made myself homeless by not waiting for the bailiffs? Thanks for any help you’re able to give. From one stressed mum.
Hi OP, I'm no expert here but I didn't want to read and run when you're in such a bad situation. I'm really sorry this is happening. I might be wrong but I'm not totally convinced that you're getting great advice from the council and in your shoes I would contact the charity Shelter (https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice) and see if they can advise you on how best to proceed. Citizen's advice might also be able to help.
Unfortunately i think you have to wait till the landlord gets the bailifs as there is a shortage of social housing this is the way councils rehome you nowadays, it will take him a while to get the court order and even though he lives above you he is not allowed to harrass you
In most councils, you won't be homeless until the bailiffs arrive. It's awful but it's standard and your landlord should be aware of it... explain it to him so he understands.
I'm sorry you're going through this. It really isn't going to be as bad as you're imagining but it's not pleasant. I hope the council help to find you somewhere suitable quickly once they accept your application.
Do you have a tenancy agreement with the landlord. I also think Shelter or Citizens Advice will be more help to you. Are you privately renting or is it through a housing association.
Is your deposit protected? Have you been given the renters' guide, the information about where the deposit is held and is there an EPC and a valid gas safety certificate? If not, sit tight. They can take you to court but it'll be thrown out.
If yes, contact Shelter
@isseywithcats but do you know if the council is able to refuse to help me if I don’t follow that advice? I know my landlord won’t do anything but it is going to be so uncomfortable living here under those circumstances. Surely with a child & one on the way they will have to help us regardless? I feel so bad on my landlord to. His been good to us & this is going to cost him so much money, I’m scared to even tell him what they’ve said.
@mondaysaturday thank you for being so kind
They will say you've made yourself intentionally homeless. Just stay put. You won't end up with bailiffs on the doorstep. As soon as you get a court eviction notice, take it back to the council.
The council are legally obliged to help you once the baliffs have removed you. If you leave before then, the council will deem you as having made yourself intentionally homeless. I don't know what the legalities of helping you if you leave before the baliffs evict you, but that's one thing I do know.
Anyway, your best bet is to seek advice from Shelter, as they know about the legalities of all this, and what help you'll be entitled to.
Shelter are open 8am - 8pm on 0808 800 4444, call them tomorrow. Don't move out before your eviction date if you want the council to help you. Good luck.
@Malbecfan yes everything is legitimate. This is why I can’t believe they are advising to ignore this section 21 & stay anyway. Seems so unfair on my landlord. I will contact shelter tomorrow thanks to everyone who has recommended them.
I’ve read that if I wait for bailiffs I will be liable for costs too? Does anyone know for a 100% fact that the council won’t help me if I leave on my eviction notice date (4th April) & tell them that I did not feel comfortable staying past this date as my landlord lives above me & it would be such an awkward situation!? Surely given all this is in no way my child & unborns child fault they can’t make us homeless for this decision can they? I feel so bad for my poor daughter, I’ve let her down - she deserves the best & I can’t even guarantee her a roof.
If you're renting privately your best option is to find another private rental. The council should be able to provide a discretionary housing payment and/or a loan to help you cover the upfront costs. They don't always tell people about these schemes but they are available. They may also be able to advise on agents or landlords that accept people on benefits.
If you do go before court and bailiff, they will count you as intentionally homeless, and they won't help at all.
I had a fair few people come for advice when I was volunteering for the Salvation Army, and that's what we had to tell them as RBWM council has that as a policy. It's designed to scare you into finding a new private property yourself. It's disgraceful, especially to vulnerable people like yourself.
Ask them that, if that's their policy, can they give you a list of registered landlords who would accept you with UC, and if you do find an alternative property, do they have the deposit guarantee system in place.
Local councils won't openly tell you about the Deposit guarantee system, but it will potentially help find a landlord who will consider you. What happens is, the council pays your deposit (but not fees) and when/if you leave, it's paid back to them, or you can choose to pay a small amount back per month so you can receive it back instead.
It's also worth noting that if your landlord wishes to sell and you are still within your tenancy, he legally can't sell from under you regardless of a no fault eviction.
The council will help you, however you will be housed in the general needs category and not a homeless application.
Your best bet is to either find new accomadation, or as the council have advised stay putnuntilntouve been served the eviction notice.
You will be liable for the costs but you should attend the Possession hearing and explain to the District Judge why you haven't moved out and ask if the costs can be waived. They may not waive them, but that doesn't stop you asking.
Another vote for Shelter, they are fab. God you poor thing I can't imagine how stressful - please come back tomorrow if you're struggling and the collective MN team will be able to help I'm sure, even if just some moral support so you don't feel alone in this
If you leave voluntarily you will be classed as intentionally homeless and the council won't have any obligation to house you. As you have children you would then be referred to social services who would assess the needs of the children. Social services would then decide how best to proceed but they are only obligated towards the children.
In 2017 my landlord told me he was selling the house and gave me two months notice, went straight to the council and was put into gold band but I was still quite far down when bidding on properties. Like you I was told to wait till it went to court and for bailiffs, make sure you send all these letters to rhe council. When it got to that stage I was put into the emergency band and was lucky to be top of that and got a house before the bailiffs had to come over. Was a stressful time for sure. My landlord and letting agency were lovely about it though, they knew the process and knew I was happy to leave once I had somewhere and I was trying my best but I agree it's ridiculous to have to wait till that stage. With regards to the court costs my landlord was happy to take this from my deposit otherwise I'm not sure what I would have done!
Where is/are your childrens' father(s) in all of this?
I am so sorry that you are going through this however where do you expect the council to house you? We have a housing shortage. Councils across the country are making themselves the last resort in providing housing for people. It is a shit situation and i do have a lot of sympathy for you.
If you leave prior to the bailiffs warrant being issued you will be deemed intentionally homeless. However, housing legislation has changed. Your application should be assessed under the homeless reduction act, having been issued a S21 you are 'threatened with homelessness' and the council have an obligation to you and your children to find alternative accommodation. My best advice would be to look for something private yourself and ask them (the council) to pay the deposit.
When your landlord goes to court for the possession order, he may ask you to pay costs, i which case you should Inform the council that paying these would put you in financial hardship, you can show this by completing an income and expenditure form. They can then move you at that stage and place you into temporary accommodation pending the outcome of your application. It's important to note that most councils don't have 'council housing' anymore and you'll probably be placed into alternative private rented so it's best to start looking now. Hope this helps!
Oh how awful. My friend had her house rented out and when she needed it back the council advised the tennant to stay until she was evicted or she would be intentionally making herself homeless and not qualify for housing.
My friend then went to the council to say she had no where to live because the council were telling tennant to stay put but they would help her because she was a homeowner 🤷🏼♀️
It dragged out for ages and was awful for both of them.
I hope they sort things out quickly for you x
Just thought I'd let you know that I'm a landlord and that happened to me - council told my tenant to stay until the court order kicked her out.
I don't know if you've told your landlord, but I was really grateful that they were honest and let me know so I could prepare (get the court papers ready and make other arrangements as I needed to move back in myself). I didn't hold her responsible (well, I tried not to) as it wasn't her fault the council are rubbish.
I don't know what sort of relationship you have with your landlord, hopefully not too bad as he lives upstairs, but if you're honest and tell him what you've been told, he'll (hopefully) understand.
For reference, I was lucky and it all worked out - my tenant was able to find another private rental before I needed to move back in.
You are getting excellent advice here about the legal side of whether they can do this and what you need to do so I shall make a more practical suggestion.
Because you will be waiting for the bailiffs to evict you, I would start packing things you won't need for the next couple of months. If you have friends and family who can store stuff for you, get it out sooner rather than later - I'm thinking of stuff like Xmas decks, seasonal stuff that you won't need for a little while. Garden furniture etc. It will be easier on the day for you, especially if you have a small baby.
Pack enough clothes to last you a couple of days into a couple of suitcases, also any essentials for toddler. Keep them to one side in case you end up in labour and get caught short.
Bailiffs generally tell you to get an overnight bag, medications and essential paperwork - any ID and letters you might need for the council.
Whilst the bailiffs will tell you/landlord that they cannot clear the house out and have to let you back in to get everything else, it just takes the pressure off you a little. Even if it means you have to rent a container to store in for a month or two. Although I appreciate that's extra cost you might not be able to afford right now.
When we were evicted it was a case of bailiffs turned up and mad panic! (We weren't expecting them). And your landlord could push it to a higher court wherein they don't give you any notice of the day. They turn up and it might be before the eviction date you've been given. I'd like to think not. But given your landlord has decided to give you notice when you are heavily pregnant, he clearly can't or won't give you extra time to get past your impending birth before evicting you.
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