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Landlords in court after illegal evictions

19 February 2016

Illegal EvictionsLocal councils are cracking down on landlords illegally evicting tenants with a joint action plan triggered by umbrella body the Local Government Association (LGA).

Four landlords have already faced the courts in the first month of the campaign.

A landlord was fined more than £2,000 in the West Midlands for illegally evicting a couple and their seven children. The landlord changed locks and left the garage open until they found a new home.

Another landlord in the West Midlands must pay more than £5,000 for illegally evicting a mother and her 11-year-old son. Their belongings were left in the garden and locks changed. The mum called a locksmith to regain entry to her home, but the landlord had the locks drilled out so the doors could not be locked.

In North East Lincolnshire, a landlord was sentenced to a suspended prison sentence after changing locks and removing some belongings, claiming he believed the tenant had left the home.

In Middlesbrough, magistrates ordered a landlord to serve a 12-month community order after she forced entry into a rented home to evict a family with young children.

In Manchester, a landlord paid a £3,500 fine for illegally evicting a family illegally, leaving them homeless.

LGA housing spokesman Peter Box said: "Councils won't hesitate to take irresponsible landlords to court if they don't apply the law correctly.

"Making people homeless by bullying them out of their properties, changing locks and removing personal belongings is not only a criminal offence, but also traumatic for the victims.

"When relationships break down between tenants and landlords there are strict legal processes that have to be followed and council officers are there to help both sides move forward.

"No landlord can act outside the law and councils will do everything in their powers to ensure tenants can live in rented properties safe in the knowledge that local authorities are there to protect them from illegal eviction.

"Failure to follow the right eviction process could leave reckless landlords with a criminal record.”