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Landlord harassed tenants - ending up in court and fined

A landlord has been ordered to pay £2,500 in fines, compensation and costs after a council brought a prosecution against him.

Jama Ahmed Farrah, of Sheffield, was ordered to pay after pleading guilty to harassing two of his tenants. He was ordered to pay a fine of £600, compensation to the tenants totalling £600, costs of £1,060 and a surcharge of £240, totalling £2,500.

Farrah pleaded guilty to a charge under section1(3A) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 of doing acts likely to interfere with the peace and comfort of his tenants, causing the tenants to leave the shared house in which they lived in the Broomhall area of Sheffield.


A council spokesperson says: “We are committed to defending tenants’ rights, which is why we take cases like this one to court. The right to live in your home without the fear of being made to leave illegally is a basic human right and we will do all we can to make sure private tenants are protected from criminal behaviour and illegal eviction.

“I hope the prosecution serves as a stark warning to landlords that the safety of our tenants remains a priority. Where landlords put the welfare and safety of tenants at risk and wilfully disregard their obligations under the law, we are prepared to take action.

“The Private Housing Standards team led the investigation. They investigate around 500 disrepair complaints a year while regulating HMO standards to more than 2,000 properties in the city. We have also investigated more than 800 reports relating to landlord and tenant issues. Where serious or persistent breaches are identified landlords are prosecuted, but can also be fined up to £30,000 for certain offences.”

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  • John  Adams

    Good, I have no sympathy for Bad Apples.
    As a sector we get a lot of flack and those that wilfully break the law tarnish that reputation further, so he deserves what he gets.

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    Absolutely agree. Unfortunately the media and politicians believe we are all like that.

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    I wonder why he wanted them out? I’m sure they were model tenants paying their rent on time and keeping the property immaculate and being kind and respectful to their neighbours. Anyway nothing like a stark warning to landlords to start the day.


    Sure there was a very good reason likely worth the fine to be rid of them

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Was just thinking the same thing, obviously gone about it the wrong way and fined, deservedly so. There is another side to it though and let us hear that.

    If they had been late with rent or anti social then Andrew is right I would class this as a cheap eviction.


    I'm sure that he had his reasons to want them out. Whether his actions were justified or not still remains unclear. I have very little faith in our Courts through experience though fortunately not directed at myself.
    It is a warning to us however. We need to make sure that our actions are completely justified in the eyes of the law.

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    And answers like the last three are a good part of the reason why politicians want amateur private landlords driven out of the sector. Have you any idea how rare it is for a council to prosecute a landlord, yet many of you still think it must be that the tenant "had it coming" rather than accepting that the landlord was simply a criminal?


    Have you ever experienced a bad tenant Martin? are you even a Landlord?


    Another patronising fool who hides behind a title not a name. When your brave enough to crawl from under your stone I might bother reading all of your comment

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Well Martin, maybe the three answers had balance and wanted to know both sides of the story before making an informed decision. They all appear to say if he was at fault he deserved it but asked for the other side.

    You are right it is rare for a council to prosecute, however for balance it is very rare for tenants who are model citizens to be evicted.

    Would you also like to comment on councils advising tenants to sit tight and not pay rent or go through a full legal process until bailiffs turn up or does that not sit well with your obvious agenda.

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    Surely, no landlord would try to evict a good tenant, I'm sure that there has to be another side to this story.

    I don't condone what he has done but he got off lightly with a 2.5k fine. Apparently, from what I hear its much cheaper than going down the legal route to get rid of bad tenants. Probably a first time offender. But I'm guessing his true cost is a lot more than this.

    If he is convicted of it again I bet the fine will be a lot more.

    Fortunately, I've never had to evict a tenant. If / when it happens, I'll take the legal route.


    If the legal route is still there which it very likely won't be

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    It will cost you thousands to be legally represented like it always did and take months, you’ll receive no Rent from when you start action so you can add that to your arrears if Rent payment is the issue. Far worse now takes longer and Solicitors think £350.00 per hour is reasonable.

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    Peter Why Do I Bother20 March 2024 09:44 AM

    "It is very rare for tenants who are model citizens to be evicted." - Sadly not the case. Any landlord of perhaps great tenants may simply want to sell up, or avoid doing expensive repairs or sorting out damp and mould or may want to move back in for a while cos his residential mortgage lender might be sniffing around suspiciously, or maybe the tenants start asking questions about HMO licensing, or perhaps he thinks the sucker has done the place up so nicely at their own expense that he can now kick them out and re-let to a wealthier mug, or maybe he doesn't like that they object to him letting himself in whenever he likes to pick up his post, or maybe a female tenant rejects a landlord's advances, or perhaps the tenants won't co-operatively agree to move out for a few days during council inspections, or they want access too often to their own stuff that the landlord agreed they could store in the garage but forgot to mention that he'd keep it locked at all times until they called him up, or maybe it's because the tenant falls into arrears due to the landlord suddenly deciding to try to extort more rent than their limited possibility of extra working hours could feasibly lead them to be able to afford, or maybe he doesn't like that they've had to start claiming benefits to keep up, or perhaps they just had the cheek to insist on not paying in cash without obtaining a receipt......

    The bottom line is though, even if there were arrears, if Tom borrows money from Barclays Bank or from Dave down the pub and then finds he cant pay back the loan there isn't a law that says that whilst Barclays Bank is not allowed to break Tom's legs, Dave is permitted to. Lending money is a business with risk, as is lending property - you just have to factor it in and take it on the chin.

    "Councils advising tenants to sit tight and not pay rent" - councils do NOT routinely do this. Arrears are the main excuse they use to avoid re-housing people into the very limited stock they still have left and good luck even getting emergency accommodation, let alone the mythical unicorn of actual cheap social housing, if you're a fit single healthy male even if you DIDN'T get into arrears.

    "or go through a full legal process until bailiffs turn up" - as opposed to what else? To go and sleep on a park bench cos of a landlord getting angry and shouting at them to leave? If they had an alternative decent local private offer most tenants would gladly take it over some crummy council emergency accommodation 300 miles away and having to have their beloved pets put down. You're deluded if you think people are only exercising their legal right to retain a roof over their head cos the council told them to. Who else are you going to criticise for doing that? The CAB? A £200-an-hour solicitor? A FaceBook group? A legal book they found in the local library? The main reason why tenants won't move is cos they can't - and that's the fault of other landlords who sold up long before you may have thought of doing so yourself. It's certainly not the tax-payer-funded council's fault that the landlord is making someone homeless for their own financial gain and doesn't like the time-scale involved.

    D Duck19 March 2024 17:26 PM

    "But I'm guessing his true cost is a lot more than this." - Apart from the criminal record, the loss of "fit and proper person" status for HMO licencing purposes and, if the tenant is on the ball or advised well, the Rent Repayment Order, now with proof 'beyond a reasonable doubt', for the return of an entire year's rent, then any civil claim for damages and hotel plus legal costs running into thousands, way beyond the paltry fine that a magistrate's court might administer. I've no idea why it's usually just the council prosecutions that make it into the papers but those are simply the tip of the iceberg in both number and cost.


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