Fighting unlawful evictions
3 May 2018
Do you rent your home? Would you know what to do if your landlord told you out of the blue that you couldn’t live there any more?
We sometimes see cases of landlords abusing the trust of their tenants. Knowing your rights can between having a safe home and ending up on the streets.
In such cases, our homelessness prevention services can help.
We stepped in when Evan (not his real name*) was going to be unlawfully evicted from his home.
An audio engineer and part-time lecturer, he had been renting his property for 9 years. “I’d always paid rent on time and never had an issue with the landlord,” he recalls.
One day, Evan received a text from his landlord saying the property was up for sale. A week later, it had been sold… or so he was told.
“Everything was happening so fast that I was struggling to make sense of it. The landlord was only communicating with me via text message and I hadn’t been given any official documents.”
Landlords are legally obligated to serve tenants with the correct legal paperwork and give them time to find a new home. But like many people in this situation, Evan was unaware of his rights.
He quickly realised that rents in the area had increased dramatically. Evan also had no money set aside to put down a deposit on a new home.
His health began to decline as a result of the stress he was under. He reached out to Porchlight for help.
We assigned him a support worker from our homelessness prevention service. We advised Evan that he was under no legal obligation to move because the landlord hadn’t gone through the proper processes.
We also gave Evan emotional support. “Having help from Porchlight was a real calming influence, especially when I was at my most vulnerable.”
After we got involved it became apparent that Evan’s home had not been sold - the landlord was attempting to move in someone new who had been told the property was vacant.
Evan’s landlord admitted he had been a good tenant and he was able to stay put.
“I’m really thankful that I got Porchlight involved. Knowing they were fighting my corner has been so valuable to me.”
*The name in this story has been changed.