Support for Single Parents facing Eviction
There are numerous reasons why people face being evicted from private rented tenancies. The landlord might want you evicted due to rent arrears or simply because they want the property back.
If your relationship breaks down then you or your partner may leave the property you live in. Whatever the reason it can be extremely stressful as a single parent.
Is it due to rent arrears?
If you are struggling to pay your rent or are at risk of losing your home because you owe your landlord rent, you need to take action. Debts relating to your home should always be your top financial priority, as you could be evicted if you don’t pay your rent.
Contact your landlord immediately and try to pay as much as you can afford towards your arrears on a regular basis. This will prevent the amount you owe from rising too sharply and will show your landlord that you are making an effort to deal with the problem. It's worth doing this even if you can only afford to pay off a small amount each week.
Are they following the correct eviction procedure?
All private landlords have to follow special legal procedures in order to evict tenants and there are laws to protect you. Whether or not your landlord can evict you and how the process works will depend on the type of tenancy you have. The first thing that you need to do is find out what type of tenancy you have as this will determine what your rights are.
If your landlord doesn't follow the right procedure, s/he may be committing a criminal offence. The Landlord can only evict you with a court possession order and an eviction warrant.
Unless you are at risk of violence, do not leave your home without seeking independent advice as you could be classed as intentionally homeless which could affect your likelihood of getting help from the Council.
As you are a single parent and especially if you are on a low income, contact the council to make sure you are receiving all possible housing benefits.
Stopping a tenancy from ending
If your partner is a tenant but wants to end the tenancy, what you can do to prevent this will depend on whether you're in a rented or owner-occupied home, as well as your relationship status, and/or whether you're a joint tenant.
I am a joint tenant
It only takes one joint tenant to give a valid notice to your landlord telling them that they want to end the tenancy. Therefore if you want to keep your tenancy and you suspect that your partner is going to end it, it is essential that you let your landlord know immediately that you would like to stay on.
I am cohabiting and am not a tenant
If your partner was the sole tenant and they leave, this will usually end the tenancy and you will have no rights to stay in the property. This can be prevented, however, if you get an occupation order before your partner leaves.
Support and Advice
Complete the emergency housing rights checker to see if the Council has a duty to house you.
Contact Shelter on 0808 800 4444 right away if your landlord is threatening to evict you.