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Tenant now able to sue landlord for damages after court fine

A landlord has been fined and must pay compensation after being involved in an illegal eviction.

The landlord - Tahir Aziz - was issued with a fine of £345 and ordered to pay costs of £775, as well as compensation of £1,200 to the tenant, after pleading guilty to unlawful eviction at Bristol Magistrates Court . In addition to the compensation ordered by the court, the tenant may now be able take their own private action against the landlord to sue for damages.

Despite accepting rent payments from the occupier of his studio flat in Bristol, Aziz failed to provide them with a tenancy agreement. He also did little to resolve complaints about disrepair and a significant leak that caused water damage to the flat, which lead to the occupier making a complaint to the council. 

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After hearing about the complaint, Aziz told him to leave the property without reasonable notice. 

On a date shortly after the announcement of the third national Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in England the victim returned home to find the door to his flat nailed shut leaving him homeless. Aziz did not respond to requests from the police to give access to the property.  

Following a complaint from the victim, Bristol council  brought prosecution under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977

During the investigation, Aziz repeatedly stated he did not know who the occupier was and ignored advice to seek legal advice.

A council spokesman says: “At a time when Bristol is experiencing a renting crisis and increases in rent prices far exceed rises to wages, renters really do deserve greater protection and improved standards. 

“The council will take action to crack down on criminal landlords whilst also ensuring renters rights are enforced. The manner of this eviction had serious implications for the renter both personally and professionally, and it is unacceptable that they should left facing homelessness through the illegal acts of a landlord. We will continue to champion stronger protections for renters. 

“This will include continuing to call for section 21 no fault evictions to be banned, among other measures.” 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Can’t say anything in support of this landlord, but I believe there’s a good chance he didn’t know the occupant as sometimes they switch around. He should have had a Tenancy Agreement at least he would know who was supposed to be living there and who paid the Rent if any, can’t see him locking out a paying person.
    It’s very big of Bristol Council Championing Tenants and shouting for removal of Section 21, how about Championing Tenants and house them if you love them so much.

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    The thing is that section 21 is irrelevant in this case as the landlord did not use it. LL would not be able to as there was an active request for repair ongoing. It is wrong of "the council" to use this as a reason for removal of section 21.

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    Quite right about the irrelevancy of Section 21 as a means of gaining possession.

    Unscrupulous landlords who do not abide by the law are more likely to resort to illegal eviction after the abolition of Section 21, not less likely.

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    What has Section 21 got to do with this case. If Bristol are experiencing a Rental Crises, along with the rest of the Country . They may wish to consider the Impact Government Policies are having.

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    Their Policy’s are the direct cause of higher rents and housing crisis, adding additional unnecessary costs to the sector that has to be paid for including huge Council fee for licensing etc. Add Section 21 fuelling the flames driving Landlords out making less rental property available.

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    Agree that bringing up S21 was a red herring, but it’s this type of landlord that we don’t need. This type of rogue landlord is the perfect poster boy for Gen Rent and Shelter.

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    We don't have all the information. Why did the tenant rent a place without an agreement? Was the rent very cheap? Was it a rouge landlord and a rouge tenant? Neither following the rules?

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    In fairness we don't have the whole story, these reports always seem to be one sided, going back 30+ yrs I've thrown rogue tenants out without a court order, it went on a lot in the 80s & 90s

     
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