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Landlord’s son ordered to pay £1,650 after changing locks over rent arrears

A landlord’s son has been ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to a tenant after changing the locks with her belongings still inside the property in Nottingham.

Aside from pay compensation, city magistrates also ordered Mohammed Azheem, 32, to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, pay Nottingham City Council’s costs of £600 and a government surcharge of £85.

The court told Azheem, who has helped his father manage his property portfolio since he was 18, that his actions had caused the tenant, who was renting the two-bedroom flat on a six-month tenancy agreement, a great deal of distress, owed in part to language problems.


After the tenant fell into rent arrears, Azheem, also referred to as ‘Jimmy’, turned up at the rental property without prior notice, used his own keys to enter the flat, and eventually changed the locks.

Sarah Mills, on behalf of Nottingham City Council, said that Azheem also sent the tenant a number of WhatsApp messages demanding the outstanding rent.

“On January 18, they [the WhatApp messages from Azheem] became more aggressive, telling her [the tenant] to move out or he would change the locks,” said Mills.

When the locks were eventually changed, the tenant was unable to retrieve her belongings.

Azheem pleaded guilty to unlawfully depriving the woman of her residence.

Presiding magistrate Nikki Whitelaw told him: “This is a very severe offence in that someone has been deprived of their residence.

“It was aggravated by the fact that this individual is Hungarian and has language challenges as well.”

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  • Amanda Burrow

    I’m being taken to court by the council for entering into a property no rent for 11 months served section 21 and about to serve a poccession order when I was advised the tenants had moved I put a abandonment notice up and my landlordlord and knock smith changed a lock which had super glue in property full of dog mess ! Landlord started work council turned up drilled out locks and gave keys back to pervious non paying tenants , the council are taking myself and locksmith to court , Iv worked closely for 35 years with this council totally feel like giving up ! The laws are crazy


    My god!. I`m so sorry to hear that. I have had things similar but not turned that sour.
    The Law!! a joke, lets support those in the wrong, and stick both fingers up to hard working people.


    I had a similar situation with tenants who had not paid the rent pending a court action.
    They left telling me that the property would be vacated and cleared by a certain date.
    There were still items in there and I requested them to move them to which I was given another date when the property would be cleared entirely.
    When I went there again, there were items still there, mostly in black bags.
    They were supposed to hand in the keys to the shop below, but failed to do so on two occasions, so I had the locks changed and advised the solicitor that they had vacated.
    I was then told that I had 'illegally evicted" them and should have waited for them to hand back the keys.
    It has been over two weeks now and there is no sign of the keys, so am I expected to wait forever for their return until I can claim that they have vacated the property?
    The law is an absolute shambles and is weighted heavily in favour of the non-compliant tenant.


    Amanda, I agree with you, the current hatred of private landlords started by shelter and their complete misunderstanding of our businesses is the start of the rot - council employees who also struggle to fathom what we do, following like ignorant sheep are pushing us over the edge!
    Every rogue tenant is someone else the council have to deal with, once we get rid of them - one day the government and councils will maybe understand 😡

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    Just keep bombarding the council with all unpaid bills by the tenant and your bills you have had to cover .
    Treat it the same way they will bill you one hundred % in council tax for an empty property you have to refurb due to either being thrashed by a previous tenant or because you want to improve it for your next tenant. They won't even give you a 25% single occupancy discount even though it's empty, with No body living in it. So bill them for them doing nothing the same as they bill you for doing nothing for the council tax when property is empty.

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    No doubt the Hungarian tenants knew enough English to claim all the benefits they feel"entitled" to? Did this £1000 get put towards the rent arrears?

    Today's BBC News reports that UC rent arrears are up by 260% in Council properties. Perhaps they'll now be a bit more sympathetic to Private Landlords?

    I think I already know the answers to both these questions!

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    perfectly legal to change the locks on a commercial property and give the non paying tenant 14 days to collect their belonging, i have done this on a few occasions, but a criminal offence to do this on a residential property, although i have been tempted. we have to be so careful who we rent to now, no one on benefits without a cast iron guarantor, and no single mums on benefits , leave them to the local council to house, their problem.


    I did this on a residential property, but when I informed the solicitor that I had emails stating that they would be out and everything cleared by a particular day, she said that that was okay, because I had evidence that they had in fact vacated the property.
    I wouldn't have done it otherwise, but like I said, the keys have not been handed in and I was not prepared to wait for ever for their return.

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    I always get the tenants to sign a surrender notice whenever possible. Even when the hand in the keys just to be on the safe side


    What if the tenants don't turn up to sign anything (as in my case) and they have failed to hand the keys in?

  • Amanda Burrow

    Apparently you have to serve a possession order or section 8 still it’s a joke !! And waste of money and courts time


    I served both a Section 8 and Section 21?

  • Amanda Burrow

    What I’m upset about I have worked closely with over 100 houses with stoke city council and only ever served one section 8 I have got tenant that have been with me for over 25 years I personally take them and sort all there claims out !! Why would the council not just slap me on the wrists and tell me there correct methods !! Wasting tax payers money for what a tick in a chart on the council wall !! A landlord been charged apparently I could go to prison and my bail was discussed in the court room ! I am a big shooting lady so will kiss my gun liscence I am TOTALLY DISGUSTED Asa are all my lovely Teanants the odd one spoils everything but stoke city council should be ashamed of themselves

  • Amanda Burrow

    It is STOKE ON TRENT CITY COUNCIL taking me to court not the tenants , however I’m sure they will try and claim after !!


    Amanda burrows is a very good landlord she goes out of her way to help people in stoke on trent iv been a tenant for 8 years and she has always helped me and never will she put me out on the streets never she helped me get threw my mental health problems when no body else would help me she has recently housed me into a 2 bedroom home so please don't give Amanda a bad name because she really does help people with nothing she never takes deposit up front like all the other landlords do she is the best landlord. MR S K PATHAK


    The council should apologise to Amanda as she is a very good landlord and so should stoke sentinal she works very hard and runs around her tenants and this universal credit is a joke all her tennents should pay her rent direct into her bank account rather than giving it to the tennents because she will never see that money as they will use it on alcohol and drugs then the only option for these people is simple get put out on to the streets that's the reason why their is so many homeless people on the streets so it's the bloody councils fault not Amanda's they need to start paying landlords direct into their bank accounts then their will be no problem with rent MR S K PATHAK

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    • 13 March 2019 23:00 PM

    You have well considered sentiments.
    Unfortunately you DON'T know anything about UC or direct payment
    You will have never heard of 'clawback' which is the reason LL wouldn't countenance direct payment.
    Which is why many LL are saying
    No DSS!!
    The UC system is broken as far as LL are concerned.
    I would rather keep my property empty than take on ANYONE reliant on HB even for £1
    It is simply too risky.
    Your LL is very brave taking the risks she does on her tenants.
    Substantial numbers of us LL are complete cowards when it comes to UC tenants.
    We simply run scared of them and wouldn't take them on EVER!!
    'Clawback' is the biggest threat to LL which is why savvy LL would NEVER accept direct payment unless in the process of evicting the tenant.
    Payment via a Credit Union no problem though even that could be changed by the tenant.
    The system is bankrupt which is why I and many other LL refuse to have anything to do with HB tenants.
    There is no way a Govt can force a LL to take on DSS tenants!

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    Simple letting rules for the professional landlord,, No Universal Credit, No Daily curry eaters, No 6 mo ths or 12 month in advance tenants unless they are foreign students with their government Sponcer letter, No body without a Reference, Credit Searches, Employment history same with guarantors, No pets. Termination of tenancy written into Tenancy agreement to take effect at 4 month stage giving tenant their 2 month statutory Notice ( if landlord so desires).
    With no arrears, it must be working.

    • 14 March 2019 08:34 AM

    A very onerous and necessarily very sensible list of requirements.
    Unfortunately for many tenants that would exclude about 80% of them.
    So for LL to source such tenants isn't very easy.
    It does seem that many LL believe a tenant is a tenant.
    They are all alike when actually nothing could be further from the truth!
    I refuse to take on any tenant unless they can qualify for RGI.
    This means I restrict myself to a very scarce tenant type.
    My choice of course.
    But without RGI letting property is simply too financially risky for me.

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    • 01 December 2019 18:16 PM

    Invest in taking it to the High Court.
    I have had to do it a number of times and it has worked well.
    It might cot about £1,000, but if you call tomorrow and all your paperwork is in place, you can get your property back in about 3 days maximum.

    Try it and Good Luck.


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