A landlord fined and a sub-letting tenant jailed

Posted: 22/05/2012

With the current economic situation, renting accommodation has become the only option for many people, and with that brings unlawful landlords.

One landlord was accused of harassing their tenant which resulted in a court case where they were fined £700. The tenant was late paying her rent because she had lost her job therefore, had to apply for job seekers allowance and housing benefit which caused the delay.

However, her landlord was far from sympathetic and sent her text messages ever day requesting the payment. The text messages were not threatening and did not contain offensive language, but the court believed a tenant should be able to live in their home peacefully, free from interference and harassment.

The case was held at the Sheffield Magistrates’ Court but before the matter went to court, council officers had warned the landlord twice about her bullying behaviour, yet she continued to send the text messages on a daily basis.

The judge ordered the landlord to pay a £15 victim surcharge, a £250 fine and £425 in legal costs. This court case is proof that a tenant is protected if they feel they are being harassed by their landlord due to late payment. A landlord does not have the right to continually text, email, phone or call at a property to ask for rent. If you have been a victim of this, the best course of action is to contact your local council tenancy relations officer.

In the second story, the landlord was sentenced to jail for 16 weeks and ordered to pay a £7,000 was because he was sub-letting his council house. This is a serious offence and has been an issue for a long time, but councils are starting to crack down on offenders.

Councils are struggling to accommodate for all of the people who need social housing and part of the shortage is due to tenants illegally sub-letting their council properties and taking thousands of pounds each year in rent from it.

In this case, a gentleman was questioned by a London council about a flat he was renting from them. He lied about the whole setup, claiming he was not sub-letting the flat but the council was not convinced. Under the Fraud Act 2006, councils can commence legal proceedings against tenants that unlawfully sub-let their council house which is what happened in this instance.

Have you ever been a victim of harassment from your landlord and taken action against them?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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(0) Comments properties, housing, council, court, tenant, landlord
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