A landlord has been fined almost £500 after changing the locks on his rental property.
Peter Lamont was prosecuted by Halton Council for unlawfully denying a tenant access to a rental property.
The incident occurred in January and the landlord pleaded guilty to a charge under the Protection From Eviction Act 1977 at Warrington Magistrates' Court.
Lamont has been fined £440 and order to pay council court costs.
"Landlords and letting agents must follow the correct legal process when terminating a tenancy," commented Councillor Stef Nelson, Halton Council's executive board member for environmental health.
"It is a criminal offence for any letting agent or landlord to illegally evict tenants from their property."
He said that the council hopes that this prosecution will act as a deterrent, showing landlords that the authority takes allegations of illegal eviction 'very seriously' and will not hesitate to take action against those who violate their tenants' rights.