A private landlord has been ordered to pay £1,600 in fines and costs after unlawfully evicting a tenant.
Amanda Burrow, aged 55, was prosecuted by Stoke-on-Trent City Council at North Staffordshire Justice Centre and pleaded guilty to the offence.
The court heard that Burrow, who lives in Alsager, had instructed her joiner to send a threatening text message to her tenant at Nash Peake Street Tunstall on July 18, 2017, advising them the locks would be changed that day.
The locks were then changed without a court order and the tenant was forced to sleep in their car until they could find alternative accommodation.
Councillor Randy Conteh, the city council’s cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “We want everyone to have a safe and secure home and this kind of behaviour is absolutely unacceptable.
“An unlawfully evicted tenant can face a whole range of problems and this can place pressure on frontline homelessness and health services. It is for this reason that landlords have to follow strict legal guidelines on how they should evict a tenant.
“It is the council’s responsibility to investigate complaints of illegal eviction and harassment – which may result in enforcement action and in some cases prosecution – and that is exactly why Amanda Burrow was taken to court.”
The city council’s tenancy relations officer can offer guidance and support to both landlords and tenants, and can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01782 234234.
The Landlord Accreditation Scheme North Staffordshire provides advice to its members to improve the physical and management standards in the private rented sector. Further information about the scheme can be found at www.landlordaccreditation.co.uk or by contacting 01782 232271 or email@example.com.