A private landlord in Telford has been ordered to pay £29,000 in costs and fines for harassing two tenants out of their properties.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that Delbag Fagura bombarded two tenants with text messages, which led to two offences of harassment.
The matter came about from Fagura being convicted for breaches of building regulations on the property at Dudmaston, for which he was fined.
The landlord, who owns properties across Telford and Wolverhampton, was unhappy that the two tenants had contacted the council, who wanted to inspect the building they lived in.
The tenants said they were asked by their landlord to lie to the council, which is why they received so many text messages.
Judge Anthony Lowe told Fagura: “You tried to get two people to leave their homes without going through the proper procedure, and the effect of your behaviour has had a profound impact on them.
“You are dealing with somebody's home. Landlords buy properties to let and for commercial gain, but they have a responsibility; people are not commodities.
“People want a stable and secure place they can call home, even if it is a one-bedroom flat.
“I have no doubt your actions were connected with the local authority inspection.
“Any sentence I give needs to act as a deterrent that a fine will be greater than the commercial gain.”
Fagura was fined £9,500 for two counts of harassment, and with that £1,000 in compensation must be paid to both victims.
He was also ordered to pay £17,500 in costs, with the total he must pay amounting to £29,000.
He has six months to pay the money owed.