FEBRUARY 01, 2016 | BY A & S Property
Illegal eviction prosecutions show councils are cracking down on rogues
Rogue landlords are being weeded out by councils for some of the worst cases of illegal eviction, according to the Local Government Association.
It highlighted one case where a family of nine were forced into a garage. A mother and young son booted out of their home with their belongings were also among tenants wrongfully kicked out of their homes by reckless landlords taking the law into their own hands.
The Local Government Association said councils are cracking down on illegal evictions, with four councils securing successful prosecutions in one month alone – but is calling for the legal process to be speeded up to bring more cases to court.
Two of the landlords narrowly avoided jail after forcing tenants out of their home without following the correct procedure.
Recent council prosecutions include:
The Government recently announced £5 million of extra funding to help councils tackle rogue landlords and the Housing and Planning Bill includes provision for maximum fines of up to £30,000.
The LGA is calling for the legal process to be speeded up to bring more illegal eviction cases to court. The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils across England and Wales, said the recent prosecutions show local authorities won't allow unscrupulous landlords to bully tenants out of their homes.
"Making people homeless by bullying them out of their properties, changing locks and removing personal belongings is not only a criminal offence, but also traumatic for the victims.
"When relationships break down between tenants and landlords there are strict legal processes that have to be followed and council officers are here to help both sides move forward.
"No landlord can act outside the law and councils will do everything in their powers to ensure tenants can live in rented properties safe in the knowledge that local authorities are there to protect them from illegal eviction.
"Failure to follow the right eviction process could leave reckless landlords with a criminal record and an unwanted new home themselves – a prison cell.”