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.
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.”
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