Preparing for your eviction hearing
The court will tell you when your hearing is and where you need to go for it.
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 can’t go to the possession hearing, tell the court as soon as possible. Explain why you can’t go – for example because you have to self-isolate. The court might:
- arrange for the hearing to happen by phone or video call
- change the date of the hearing
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.
Talk to an adviser 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 can get a lawyer to represent you. If you’ve got no income or a low income, 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.
On the day of the hearing, you’ll also be able to talk to the duty adviser – it doesn’t matter how much income you have. Before the date of the possession hearing, read the letters from the court and make sure you know how to contact the duty adviser.
If you can’t contact the duty adviser on the day of the hearing, tell the usher or the judge before the hearing starts – the judge might agree to delay the hearing.
Talk to an adviser to find out what legal advice you can get.