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Getting the council or housing association to review their decision to evict you

This advice applies to Wales

You can ask your landlord to review their decision to evict you if you have an introductory or a prohibited conduct contract.

If you’re not sure what type of contract you have, check your written statement. Your written statement is the contract between you and the council or housing association.

If you have a different type of contract, you can challenge your eviction with a defence form.

Your landlord is the council or housing association you pay rent to - sometimes called a ‘community landlord’.

The review is the best chance you have to stay in your home. If the review fails, the court will decide you must leave your home - unless your landlord hasn’t followed the correct process or there are special circumstances.

Check how to ask for a review

You have 14 days from the date you got your notice to ask for a review - your notice should tell you how to ask for a review. It can be a face-to-face hearing or you can write a letter to support your case.

It’s best to ask for a face-to-face hearing if you feel able to - it gives you a chance to put forward your case and hear any evidence your landlord has.

If you can’t go to a face-to-face hearing, you can ask for it to happen on the phone or by a video call.

The review will be with the council or housing association, not the court. They’ll make sure the person carrying out the review hasn’t been involved in your case before.

Talk to an adviser if you need help building your case for your review.

If you choose a face-to-face hearing

The council or housing association should send you all the information you need before the hearing.

The hearing will usually be held as soon as possible after you ask for it. This is to give you enough time to get a decision before your notice expires. 

If you choose a face-to-face hearing, you could:

  • call people to give evidence for you
  • put questions to anyone who gives evidence
  • take someone with you for support or to take notes
  • get someone else to represent you - you should always attend even if you don’t have someone to represent you

If you decide to write a letter

Once you’ve asked for the review, the council or housing association must give you enough time to send your defence in writing before your notice expires.

You don’t need to use a special form - you can just write a letter. Make a copy of what you write so you have a record.

Making your case to stay in your home

Whether you choose a hearing or to write a letter, use the review to explain why you’re challenging the eviction and why you think you should stay in your home.

It's best to give as much detail as possible - the council or housing association will look at your situation to decide whether you can stay in your home.

Gather any evidence you have to support your case. For example, a doctor’s note or medical evidence if you couldn’t pay your rent because you were ill.

Councils and housing associations usually have a policy on how they deal with rent arrears, antisocial behaviour or introductory contracts. Check their policy online to see if they’ve followed it. If they haven’t, you should mention it during the review.

Give the reasons for your problems

You should explain your side of the story. For example, say if you couldn’t pay your rent because you lost your job or were in hospital.

If you have a physical or mental health condition, you should tell your landlord. If they didn’t know before, they won’t have been able to make adjustments for it. If you tell them now, they could decide to stop the eviction.

If you think you’ve been discriminated against, you could help your case by including it on your form - check if you’ve been discriminated against.  

Explain how you're making the situation better

The council or housing association will look at what you’ve been doing to make the situation better.

If you can prove you’re trying to fix the situation, the council or housing association might decide not to evict you.

Make sure to mention if you:

  • are paying off your rent arrears each week or you’ve paid for repairs to any damage you caused
  • have applied for any benefits or a new job if you’re in rent arrears
  • might be able to pay your rent soon - for example because you’ll receive your first Universal Credit payment

Note any mistakes in your notice

If there are any mistakes in the council’s notice, explain them.

For example, mention if the amount of rent arrears is wrong, or if it accuses you of anti-social behaviour that you didn’t do.

Getting a decision

The council or housing association must tell you their decision in writing before your notice ends. 

Check when your notice ends

When your notice expires depends on:

  • whether you have an introductory contract or a prohibited conduct contract
  • why you’re being evicted - you can check the reason you’re being evicted on your notice

If you have an introductory contract

Your notice will usually end 6 months after you got it.

If you’re in serious rent arrears, your notice will end in 1 month. You’ll be in serious rent areas if you pay your rent monthly and you owe at least 8 weeks’ rent.

Your notice will end within a different time period if your landlord either:

  • thinks you broke your contract

  • needs to move you to a different property

If you’re not sure when your notice ends, talk to an adviser.

If you have a prohibited conduct contract

Your notice will end 2 months after you got it.

If your review was unsuccessful

The council or housing association must tell you why the review didn’t succeed.

If they’ve followed the right steps, you’ll usually be evicted.

You can only challenge the decision of the council or housing association if they  didn’t follow their own process or there were special circumstances. 

Talk to an adviser if you want to challenge your council or housing association's decision.

If you think the council or housing association haven’t followed their own policies, you can also complain to the Public Services Ombudsman on their website. This won’t mean you can stay in your home though.

You can check your council or housing association’s policies’s website on GOV.UK. You can also contact them to ask for a copy. 

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