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Graham Awards


Suspended sentence for landlord who evicted tenant overnight

A landlord has been jailed for six months, suspended for a year, after being found guilty of illegally evicting a tenant and locking him out while he was working a night shift.

The landlord has also been found guilty of disposing of all of the tenant’s belongings.

The tenant returned home early in the morning after work to find himself homeless and possession-less. 


The landlord, who has not been named, must pay compensation of £3,000 to the tenant, plus £250 to Sedgemoor council in Somerset. 

Magistrates hearing the case in Taunton said they accepted that the landlord had been ill, but they took the decision that there were several aggravating features that - according to a council statement - “made this a very serious offence.”

These included: 

- The tenant had lost his home in Bridgwater for which he had regularly paid rent;

- The tenant understood that he would get a month's notice, which was in itself unlawful given the provisions of the Coronavirus Act which means that there is additional protection of six months;

- The landlord had been advised by the council's housing team prior to the eviction, that he must abide by the law and by his own admission the landlord chose not to do so;

- The tenant lost all of his possessions many of which were personal and irreplaceable;

- The magistrates wished to put on record the actions and effort taken by the council to help the tenant. 


In sentencing the landlord, the Chairman of the Bench stated that the landlord had received the benefit of an early guilty plea and the fact that he was of previous good character and was ashamed of his actions. However, it was a very serious offence, hence the sentence.

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  • Neil Moores

    Sounds like a result! 8 months of no rent for me when I could have been hit with a 3K compensation order and £250 costs instead of being 8K down on rent! Probably less as my tenant was NOT paying rent. And the headline is very dubious. He did not get a 6 month custodial sentence unless he does it again in the next year.

  • icon

    Hardly over night and not just like that it was rumbling on prior and Council involvement who supplied a Statement to the Court.
    So seems the Tenant got a great deal or rent back in essence. Luckily it seems Landlord didn’t have a Deposit or he might have to give back 3 times the Deposit plus the Deposit, can’t think of a better investment for a Tenant beats blue chip Companies hands down, so much injustice I think I would be sick as to.

  • icon

    I too don't know the background to this story, but I know that more and more desperate and unsuitable people are are trying to get through the door. Until the law starts to take seriously the issue of dealing swiftly and effectively with problematic tenants, Landlords are simply going to become ever more risk averse and wary of who they allow into their properties in the first place.

  • icon

    £3260...sounds like a win win situation when you consider how much arrears non paying tenants can build up quickly.. My last one owed me over £6k, which I had to write off. I have one currently on 6 months notice as i wish to sell and guess what.... They have stopped paying rent.. Currently owing over £2k and growing by the day... The £3250 route sounds like quite a good option because once the 6 months notice is up, the tenant will be advised by the council to stay where they are as there are no rental properties available. Meanwhile, Muggins here is forced to provide a rent free property whilst still having to pay the mortgage, insurance, landlord registration fees, etc etc etc. No wonder I'm selling all my properties.. Enough is enough.

  • icon

    Win Win situation if you look at it like that, the Tenant get his rent back and the LL gets his property back but it’s a farce.
    I had a house with a years rent arrears went through all the legal procedures got the Court Order for rent and possession, guess what never received a penny, just add large Solicotor’s Bill, Court fees + vat good system.


    You try and do things properly and get stabbed between the shoulder blades, so why bother

    Theodor Cable

    Ever tried the CCJ route?
    It really messes up all their financial transactions for 6 years.
    Worth a try and then think about all the aggro you will cause them.

  • Suzy OShea

    With our own PM disregarding his own laws on COVID isolation regulations, viz his defence of Dominic C*mming's trip up noth to GlaxosmithKline's HQ for sales talks and party-gate, why should Landlords who are adversely affected by non-paying tenants follow the law!

    Personally, I would have put his possessions into storage and stuck him in a cheap B&B for a few nights, which might have prevented the prosecution. Non-payment and willfully destructive tenants can make anyone ill, including their house-mates. Sometimes they have to be removed for the public good! Law or no law!


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