An Oxford landlord has been convicted of unlawfully evicting a tenant after “a campaign of sustained harassment”.
Riasat Ali was ordered to pay £180 for unlawfully evicting the tenant and £300 for a campaign of harassment against him by magistrates in Oxford. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs to Oxford City Council.
The court heard that Ali, of Howard Street, Oxford carried out a campaign of sustained harassment against the tenant, at the Marston Street property before unlawfully evicting him and making him homeless.
The harassment included repeatedly demanding the tenant leave, and making threatening phone calls and text messages.
The court heard that between April and June 2014, Ali and some of his family members repeatedly threatened the tenant with violence and on 5 June 2014, Ali locked his tenant out of his home by changing the lock to the front door.
Ali was charged with illegally evicting his tenant and harassment in March this year and denied both, but magistrates found him guilty last week.
Councillor Mike Rowley, board member for housing and property services, said: “I would have liked to have seen a stiffer penalty as we need to send a clear message to rogue landlords that they cannot just take the law into their own hands.
“Mr Ali now has a criminal conviction on his record and that is right. There is a clear legal process for landlords who want to evict their tenants and the courts have rightly taken enforcement action against those who illegally remove tenants from their homes.”