Preparing for your eviction hearing
You’ll get court papers that tell you when your case will be looked at - this is called a ‘possession hearing’. It’ll also tell you where you need to go for it.
Coronavirus - your landlord can’t go to court to evict you
The government have temporarily changed the law around evictions. Your landlord can’t take court action to evict you until at least 23 August 2020. If your landlord hasn’t gone to court to evict you, you won’t have to leave your home yet.
Your landlord can’t evict you without a court order.
You might still have to leave if your landlord went to court before 27 March 2020 and arranged for someone to enforce the court order. This might be a bailiff or a High Court enforcement officer.
Some bailiffs or enforcement officers might decide not to work because of coronavirus. It's a good idea to contact them to check if they’re going ahead.
If you think your eviction might be going ahead you should contact your nearest Citizens Advice.
The court will use the hearing to decide if you need to leave your home. They’ll give your landlord a ‘possession order’ if you need to leave - this means your landlord can evict you.
It’s really important that you go to your court hearing - even if you haven’t sent your defence form. It’s your chance to explain to the court why you should be allowed to stay in your home. Even if you have to leave, they might let you stay in your home for longer.
If you've sent your defence form and you don't go to the hearing, the court could just rely on the evidence your landlord has given them.
If you’re using discrimination as part of your defence, make sure you gather your evidence before you go to court.
If the court decides you have to leave, you’ll usually have 14 days before you need to move out.
If you’re an introductory or demoted council tenant, the court is unlikely to let you stay in your home if your landlord has followed the correct process.
Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re going to be evicted or you’re worried about going to court. An adviser might be able to help you build your case or find you free legal help.
Getting legal help
You should visit your nearest Citizens Advice for help preparing for court. They might be able to find you legal aid or represent you in court.
You can also get a solicitor to represent you instead. It’s likely to be expensive, but you might be able to get legal aid to help you cover the cost. Find out if you can get help with legal costs on GOV.UK.
You might be able to get free legal advice on the day of the hearing instead. You can ask the court before the hearing date for details of what help you can get on the day.