Due to the Cornavirus crisis some guidance contained within these pages might be out of date, as the Government guidance is changing frequently during this period it is best to check for any changes on the COVID 19 and renting guides.
If you are having problems with your neighbours your first step is to try to talk to them as they may not be aware that there is a problem. Ask them politely to change their behaviour but if this does not work, you may need to consider reporting the issue to Northumbria Police by ringing 101.
If the noise is occasional and unpredictable you should report each individual incident. If the noise is regular, contact Public Protection and Neighbourhoods who may be able to issue you with a noise meter or other method of recording the regular noise disturbance.
If the problem is due to differing lifestyles between you and your neighbours a mediation organisation may be able to assist.
If you are not sure how to deal with problem neighbours and want to report a problem you can do this online.
If your landlord serves notice and you do not want to leave you should get advice from the Private Rented Service Newcastle, a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible.
If the notice expires and you have not moved out of the property the landlord will need to apply to the Court for a possession order. When they receive this the Court will send a letter asking if you have a defence.
If a Section 21 notice has been served the only defence is that the correct procedure was not followed.
If a Section 8 has been served and you believe the grounds stated are correct you can enter a defence but you will need to show how they are incorrect.
You will then be told when the judge will consider the application. For a Section 21 notice you will not usually be expected to attend unless you have submitted a defence. If the landlord served a Section 8 notice you can attend a hearing to appeal against the application.
What will the court do?
The Court will consider the evidence and issue one of the following decisions:
- Outright possession order: You will be given a date to leave the property. This is usually 14 days from the date of the order but in exceptional circumstances can be up to six weeks.
- Suspended possession order: You will be able to stay at the property if you agree conditions set by the court, for example a payment plan for any rent arrears. If you don’t stick to the conditions your landlord can apply for a bailiff to evict you.
- Adjourn the case: This happens if the Court doesn’t have enough information to make their decision. Depending on the circumstances you may be given a date for another hearing or your landlord may need to make a new application. You can stay in the property until the decision is made though you may have to agree to certain conditions such as paying a certain amount off rent arrears.
- Order to dismiss: The court can dismiss a case if there is no legal reason or not enough evidence to evict you.
If a landlord serves a Section 21 notice after you have reported a repair this could be a ‘retaliatory notice’. The specific requirements that must apply for a notice to be considered as a retaliatory eviction are:
- The tenancy started after the 1 October 2015
- You reported the repair in writing
- You allowed your landlord 14 days to provide an adequate response
- Your landlord has failed to respond and the Council have served an Improvement notice.
In these circumstances, your landlord may not be able to successfully serve a Section 21 notice for up to 12 months after the Council served an Improvement Notice.
Remember this only applies to Section 21 notices. If you have breached your Tenancy Agreement rent your landlord can still serve a Section 8 notice.
Harassment and Illegal Eviction
The law says it is an offence for a landlord to harass or illegally evict a tenant. Harassment and illegal eviction can take many different forms including cutting essential services and threats of violence.
If you are being harassed by your landlord you should contact the Council who can investigate the matter and take legal action if there is sufficient evidence.
You may also be able to get free legal advice.
The Equalities Act 2010 makes it unlawful for landlords to discriminate on the grounds of:
- Gender including transsexuality
- Marital status
- Pregnancy or maternity
- Race including colour, nationality and ethnic origin
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
If you feel that you have been discriminated against for any of the above, please contact the Equality Advisory Support Service for help and advice.