Tenant Receives £12,500 Compensation from Lock-Change Landlord

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A Nottingham tenant has been awarded £12,500 compensation for illegal eviction by her landlord when the locks were changed while she was out.

Further to our report last week of Landlord’s son Mohammed Azheem being ordered by Nottingham magistrates to do 120 hours unpaid work as well as paying his tenant in Sneinton Dale £1,000 compensation for the illegal eviction, the tenant proceeded to take the case to civil court, supported by the city council, for further compensation.

The court awarded over £12,500 of damages to the tenant, who it was recognised was a vulnerable person who had suffered harassment and mental health problems as part of her ordeal. Mr Azheem was also ordered to pay £9,000 costs towards the Nottingham Law Centre.

The illegal eviction had followed a series of breaches in the tenancy agreement, including Mr Azheem and his father letting themselves into the property without notice and issuing threats to the tenant over rent.

Sally Denton from the Law Centre said: ‘This was a test case where we were able to work jointly with the City Council who were prosecuting the criminal case and so sets a precedent for further action. In many cases like this, it is difficult to prosecute because tenants are often vulnerable, reluctant to come forward to take on their landlord and may have language barriers or a lack of understanding over their rights.

‘We’re pleased that the judge took on board that the sort of behaviour displayed by the landlord in this case is not acceptable, won’t be tolerated and will lead to significant penalties.’

Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, Cllr Toby Neal, said: ‘This case shows that the courts will take the issue of rogue landlords seriously. I hope this helps to send out a clear message to landlords to remind them of their obligations and the penalties they face if they don’t meet them.