A landlord has pleaded guilty to harassing one of his tenants during the eviction ban period.
Abid Butt from Sheffield has been ordered to pay £2,036 in fines and costs after pleading guilty at Sheffield Magistrates Court.
Butt 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 one his tenant.
The landlord did this knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that this was likely to cause his tenant to give up the flat, which is owned by Butt and his wife.
The events took place in June 2020 during lockdown, when evictions were suspended.
Butt changed the locks to the property on Abbeydale Road but claimed that it had been his intention to give the tenant a key.
He is a director of two property companies and the court heard that his business was in letting properties, and that he had also been on training organised by the council about the responsibilities that landlords should have towards their tenants.
Councillor Paul Wood, in charge of housing for Sheffield council, says: “We are committed to defending vulnerable people, 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 bullying behaviour and illegal eviction.
“It was especially reprehensible that this happened at a time when all landlords had a moral and legal responsibility not to evict their tenants at all, never mind evict them without going through the proper procedures.
“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 take action.”
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