Much better to remove a tenant legally.
As much as tenants and support groups of tenants like to give me a hard time for what we do here at Evict my Tenant, I would advocate any person seeking to remove a tenant to follow the legal path. I see and hear of so many landlords who try to beat the legal system and evict a tenant illegally only for it to eventually come back to haunt them.
A case in point is the landlord who was found guilty of illegally evicting a tenant. The landlord was found guilty of depriving the tenant of his occupational rights to a home in Bishops Waltham. With all the recent changes in legislation this landlord was lucky with the outcome. He basically forced the tenant to leave by failing to keep the property in a fit for purpose condition, refusing to make repairs to the property and white goods.
Initially the landlord pleaded not guilty which is why the case has taken so long to come to the final judgement. Following on from the initial court appearance, the landlord then removed the tenant’s bedroom door and bed, padlocked the communal bathroom door shut and disconnected the power to the shower. Clearly there are issues here that needed to be addressed, the landlord believing eviction was the best route possible. Even after all of this the tenant did not leave the property. Finally, the landlord unlawfully evicted the tenant by changing the locks whilst he was out, preventing him from entering the property and denying him access to his belongings and essential medication, resulting in the tenant being homeless for two nights.
The tenant chose to follow the legal route and reported the landlord to his local council, the council investigated and found enough evidence to proceed to court for an illegal eviction.
Now the consequence of the landlord’s actions have resulted in criminal record which could impact on his life for years to come. The landlord was sentenced to twelve weeks in prison which has been suspended for a two year period. In addition to this, the landlord now has a curfew for sixteen weeks between the hours of 8pm and 6am and a fine of £2,000 compensation to his former tenant for the distress.
When you factor in the costs the Judge ordered the landlord to pay, he is looking at a total of £8,490. Now I know some landlords would argue that this is potentially cheaper than the legal route. What are your thoughts on this?