A city council has prosecuted a landlord who has now been placed under an overnight curfew in her home and ordered to pay thousands in compensation and costs.
The landlord, Juliet Matorerwa, pleaded guilty to unlawfully evicting her lodger, in a case brought by Bristol council’s Rogue Landlord Unit.
Matorerwa has been ordered to remain in her home between 8pm and 6am each night for the next three months after admitting illegally evicting the lodger under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, which makes the harassment and unlawful eviction of a residential occupier a criminal offence.
The landlord let a spare room in her home to a lodger on a fixed-term agreement for six months in 2019. Following a breakdown in their relationship, a Bristol court heard that Matorerwa harassed the lodger, culminating in the eviction in October 2019 before their contractual agreement came to an end.
The council describes the lodger as “vulnerable and pregnant” and “effectively homeless.”
Passing sentence the judge, HHJ Hart, told Matorerwa: “You behaved in an inappropriate way towards her and evicted her 11 days prior to the date in which her occupation was due to end. The way in which it happened was wholly unacceptable. This case demonstrates that the city council in Bristol will take people’s housing rights seriously regardless of whether there is a long-standing tenant or short-term lodger. Such rights should not be interfered with.”
The landlord must also pay almost £7,000 in compensation and costs.
A council spokesperson adds: "The message to all residential landlords in Bristol is, your lodgers do have rights. You need to follow the correct legal procedure for any eviction. If not, our officers will, if appropriate, take enforcement action to ensure tenants’ rights are upheld.’’
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