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Nottinghamshire landlord convicted of unlawful eviction ordered to pay over £5,000

A Nottinghamshire landlord has been ordered to pay £5,312 for unlawfully evicting his tenant of 18-months.

On 5 April 2023, Bassetlaw District Council’s Environmental Health Team were notified that the Housing Needs department had been approached by an individual that had been wrongfully evicted from their private-rented home in Worksop, by their landlord Mr Sunjeet Dubb of Laghourton, Lincoln.

Mr Dubb attempted to pressure his tenant into ending their tenancy on 19 March 2023. By 30 March he had changed the locks to the property, leaving his tenant with nowhere to stay and without access to their belongings, including medication. Mr Dubb refused to change the locks back or provide the tenant with keys when requested by the tenant and Council officers.

The majority of renters in residential properties are protected by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This law requires landlords to follow the correct legal process to evict their tenants which usually requires that the tenant is served notice before a possession order is sought from the Courts. A possession order, if granted, can only be carried out by Court Bailiffs.

On 25 April, Mr Dubb attended the Council for an interview under caution. He failed to follow the correct legal process to evict his tenant, and broke the law by changing the locks on the property without giving his tenant notice and obtaining a possession order through the Courts.

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Mr Dubb attended Mansfield Magistrates Court on 31 August and plead guilty to the offence. The Court sentenced Mr Dubb for the offence, including the order to pay a £233 fine, £89 victim surcharge, £668 contribution to costs and £4,322 B&B charge to repay the Council the cost of the accommodation which had been provided.

Cllr Jonathan Slater, Cabinet Member for Housing and Estates said: “It is vital that landlords are aware of their responsibilities and act in accordance with any relevant laws. In this case, Mr Dubb’s unlawful conduct deprived his tenant of their belongings, resulting in them having to buy additional clothing, being unable to access their medication or acquire more, and requiring accommodation from the Council.

“The Council contacted Mr Dubb in an attempt to rectify the issue before it progressed, but to no avail. Had Mr Dubb followed the correct process, the tenant would have had much more time to find alternative accommodation and may not have become homeless.”

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