Jail Sentence For Illegal Eviction Landlord
Landlord Rehan Sheikh was sentenced to four months in jail after giving six tenants a two-hour warning that he was going to evict them after they complained about the condition of their shared home.
He even threw out a mum while her two children were at school, refusing to wait until they returned to their home.
Sheikh admitted the illegal evictions and failing to maintain an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) before Willesden Magistrates, North London.
He was also fined £9,000 and ordered to pay his former tenants £11,000.
The court was told that the tenants paid close to £3,000 each month to live in a dirty home with holes in the walls, ceilings and floors.
After the tenants complained, Sheikh went to court for a possession order, claiming he did not know his tenant and that they were squatters.
Councillor Harbi Farah, Brent cabinet member for housing, said:
“This was an appalling case which caused great distress to the victims and demonstrates the necessity of our private sector licensing scheme.
“Good tenants and their children were forced from their home by this heartless landlord’s deliberate actions.”
In a separate case at Kings Lynn Magistrates Court, a corporate landlord was fined £12,000 for failing to maintain an HMO where West Norfolk Council had banned tenants from living in two flats with dangerous electrics and unsound floors.
Pure Portland Management Ltd admitted 15 HMO management offences and was ordered to pay £6,500 for costs and a fine.
Problems at the house included fire risks, failure to test electrics, dampness, mould and defective lighting.
Adrian Lawrence, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for housing, said:
“Landlords should understand their obligations for properties they let.
“HMO management is subject to specific regulations to ensure that they meet minimum standards.
“Landlords are responsible for making sure they are fully aware of and comply with these regulations.”
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The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes it a criminal offence for any person to unlawfully deprive a 'residential occupier' of their occupation of the premises. Unless the tenant agrees to vacate, the only legal way a landlord can evict a tenant is by obtaining a court order. Any term in the tenancy agreement that says otherwise will be void.