Protection from Eviction Act 1977
Eviction without a court order is a criminal offense under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
The Act's aim is to protect tenants from being ejected from their homes by landlords, unless there has been a court order.
Section 3 states that nobody can be forcibly evicted without a court order. The purpose of this section was to prevent aggressive landlords becoming violent.
Section 3A states that there are a number of exclusions. These are primarily when a landlord actually resides in the same property as the tenant, or the accommodation falls within the definition of a hostel or hotel.
Section 5 states that everyone, whether classified as having a lease or a licence, is required to be given four weeks notice before they are evicted. Any "notice to quit" has no effect before this time.