Wellingborough family unlawfully evicted while on holiday after landlord changed locks
While the family were away on holiday he moved another family into their home
A Wellingborough family returned from their holiday to find they had been unlawfully evicted after their landlord had changed the locks.
Jalal Uddin, of Gordon Road, even moved another family into his victims' home in Alexandra Road while they were away despite a ban on evictions because of the Covid pandemic.
On August 31 at Wellingborough Magistrates' Court Uddin pleaded guilty to the unlawful eviction of tenants, contrary to the Protection From Eviction Act 1977.
On June 5, 2020, Uddin arranged for repossession of the rented property while the tenants were away on holiday, and without following correct legal eviction proceedings.
Upon their return from holiday the tenants were prevented from returning to the property as Uddin had changed the locks and allowed another family to move in.
Officers from the North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) private sector housing team became involved and the council were forced to place the family in temporary accommodation outside of the area, incurring significant costs for the council.
Officers also had to assist the tenants in retrieving their possessions from Uddin that had been left in the property when they went on holiday.
In addition to not following the correct legal process, the eviction took place during a period when the government had placed a ban on evictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Uddin has now been ordered to pay a fine of £323, a victim surcharge of £34 and the council's costs of £7,074.50 - a total of £7,431.50.
Cllr Andy Mercer, NNC's executive member for housing and community, said: “While North Northamptonshire Council recognise the challenges the pandemic and the eviction ban has placed on landlords, those seeking to evict tenants must follow the correct, lawful procedures.
“The council has seen a significant increase in complaints of unlawful eviction and harassment over the past eighteen months, and will not hesitate to intervene should landlords be acting unlawfully. The private sector housing team are happy to offer advice to landlords and tenants to ensure correct procedures are followed, and to intervene where necessary.”