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I'm posting on behalf of a friend who has just received a telephone call from his (private) landlord that he has 2 hours to remove his property from the flat as they are changing the locks.

He is in arrears but nothing has been put in writing, no eviction notice or final date to clear arrears by etc, just the phone call giving him 2 hours which is near on impossible to adhere to. Can they do this?

Any advice appreciated asap please

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Okay, he is at the flat now (was trying to get stuff packed, is moving out anyway but cannot do so quickly) He has found a letter that had been pushed under the door at the weekend written by the lanlord saying they are changing the locks next week (so that should give him untill the weekend surely?) however the landlord had decided to phone him today with the 2 hour ultimatum. I have passed your message onto him & advised he phone his landlord to request 2 days to move his belongings out, assuming the landlord may say 'no just one day' but thats enough time..much better than two hours

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He has no need to leave at all.

 

The landlord can only gain lawful possession of the flat if he gets a court order - it appears he has not done so, and so he has NO RIGHT to order your friend out. The police will attend and will tell him so if your friend phones them.

 

I also suggest he rings Shelter asap for some expert legal advice.

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The letter said to contact the landlord as they are changing the locks next week. I thiink (as he was away this weekend, so only got the note today) that the landlord was annoyed he hadn't responded. Fingers crossed he will phone him and negotiate more time.

His 6 month contract has just expired so I suspect the landlord has the next tenant ready and is wanting him out promptly

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Even if the six months is up, even if there are arrears, the landlord cannot force entry like this. There are procedures to be followed and failure to do so constitutes illegal eviction and harrassment.

 

Your friend has no need to negotiate anything. The landlord MUST serve the correct notice and after that has expired he still cannot force entry - he would need a court order before he could do so.

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Thank you for all your help and advice..I will pass this on though he is in the process of packing what he can right now. He was moving out this week anyway. Am shocked at the landlords bully boy tactics to make him run rather than walk though. He was worried about losing his possesions if the landlord changed the locks in his absence.

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this happened to me a few years ago (although i didnt get any advance warning, i just got home from work to find the locks changed 4 days before christmas, didnt even have a change of underwear or a toothbrush and as i worked in a pub at the time it was midnight so had nowhere to go, ended up sleeping in the office at work) i phoned the police who told me they couldnt do anything as it was a cival dispute and if i tried to break in i could get arrested for criminal damage. i phoned the council the next day who took the landlords contact details and phoned him and eventually got him to change the locks back (by this time i was living somewhere else and when i went back to pick up my things a couple of weeks later, all my stuff was chucked in the garage and someone else was living there, although the locks had been changed back and i got in to find this person had been using my things in the house (furniture etc). so i would phone the council as they were a big help to me as the police were f***ing useless

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i was in arrears (about 6 weeks) when this happened to me, i never paid it back, the LL had my deposit and the stress of me being pretty much homeless and having a lot of my belongings damaged/ go missing meant he wasnt getting another penny from me, if he took me to court he would have to explain why he felt he was abouve the law and felt he could make someone homeless with no notice and vialate their privacy by going through all their personal belongings (things like my underwear drawer had been emptied out) messing up my entire christmas (all my families presents were locked in the room. so i never paid, he never pushed for payment, i think he knew he was in the wrong and that i could claim against him because of his actions

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The obvious thing for him to do is to change the locks himself. Then contact the police saying that he is being harrassed and illegally evicted by a violent landlord.

 

HE DOES NOT HAVE TO LET ANYONE INTO THE PROPERTY.

 

Anyone who is evicted in this way should sue the LL - it is a criminal offence and LL could end up in jail (and in my opinion, that is the best place for this LL)/

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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