If you are a tenant, your landlord must get a court order to legally evict you. This applies whether you rent from a private landlord, the Housing Executive or a Housing Association. .
I have a private tenancy
If you're a private tenant your landlord must follow due process to evict you. This means you must be served with a Notice to Quit and the landlord must get a court order if you do not leave the property once the notice has expired. If anyone, other than an officer of the Enforcement of Judgements Office tries to forcibly remove you from the property this is an illegal eviction.
You have more protection from eviction if you are a protected tenant. Your landlord will usually only be able to evict you if s/he has a legal reason for evicting you.
Visit our renting subsite to find out more about your rights and responsibilities as a private tenant.
I am a licensee
Your landlord doesn't need to give you 28 days' notice to quit or get a court order before evicting you if you are a licensee. Your landlord only has to give you a reasonable time to leave the property. This can be as little as a couple of hours.
Get specialist advice if your landlord is trying to evict you. You may have more rights than you think.
I am a Housing Executive tenant
The Housing Executive will usually only start eviction proceedings as a last resort. The Housing Executive can only evict you if you break your tenancy agreement. The Housing Executive must go to court to end your tenancy.
The Housing Executive won't automatically get possession. The court will look at your personal circumstances before deciding if it is reasonable to evict you. The court can't look at your personal circumstances is if the Housing Executive is trying to end your introductory tenancy.
The Housing Executive can terminate your introductory tenancy if you abandon the property where you hold the tenancy. If the Housing Executive believes you have permanently vacated a property, the Housing Executive is entitled to take possession of the property. The Housing Executive considers this behaviour as abandonment of a property.
I am a housing association tenant
Your housing association will usually only start eviction proceedings as a last resort. A housing association can only evict you if you break your tenancy agreement. The housing association must go to court to end your tenancy.
The housing association won't automatically get possession. The court will look at your personal circumstances before deciding if it is reasonable to evict you. The only time that the court can't look at your personal circumstances is if the housing association is trying to end your introductory tenancy.
What is an illegal eviction?
Most private tenants can only be evicted if their landlord gets a possession order from the court. If your landlord has evicted you without following the correct procedure this may be illegal. Illegal eviction is a serious civil and criminal offence.
You might be illegally evicted if:
- your landlord doesn't give you 28 days' notice to quit,
- your landlord changes the locks while you are out or stops you from getting into your home,
- your landlord makes life so uncomfortable for you that you are forced to leave your home,
- you are physically removed from the property by a person who is not employed by the Enforcement of Judgements Office.
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