Here is a short summary for tenants, of the timetable for an eviction.
1. Notice to quit: As a tenant, you MUST receive a Notice with a date when the owner wants you out. This notice will be different for different types of tenants, but whatever your situation you must receive such a notice.
2. Invitation to Court: After that date if you haven’t left, you MUST receive a letter inviting you to Court, with a date. Go there! If you explain your case you might have a chance. Especially if you took the time to get legal advice before (soon to come, a list of places where to ask for legal advice)
3. Possession Order: If you lose the court will issue a Possession Order, that you might want to appeal (let’s not get into the details here – Housing Law Land). If you missed the hearing and there is some kind of explanation for this, you may be able to apply to set the possession order aside.
4. Warrant for possession: before calling any bailiffs, the owner must get a Warrant for possession. This is when a date for your eviction will be fixed. This should be notified to you by a letter. From that moment, if you decide to resist the eviction, tell the date, time and address to people in your networks.
5. If your landlord is a housing association or a council, you will very likely have a right to apply to suspend the warrant (let’s not get into the details here – Housing Law Land)
If the case gets transferred to the High Court for HC enforcement officers (HCEO) to be assigned to evict you, you should get a letter from the court telling you this.
Bailiffs will come to get you out only after you get the Warrant for possession, but you should start getting legal help as soon as you receive a Notice to quit.
Also, find a Housing group
to support you in your area. You will find some on the Radical Housing Network
website. If there is none, you could speak about it with friends, go door knocking to meet your neighbors, and create your own support network. Or even a network support for all people in similar situations in your area.
We can come and organize a workshop for you, if you want to learn how to support each other in these situations from the day you receive a Notice to quit. And how to resist bailiffs peacefully if it comes down to this.