Landlord gets jail for illegal action on tenants

Posted: 7/8/2016

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A landlord who waged a war of intimidation against tenants living in his property has been sentenced to four months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay £20,000.​

Rehan Sheikh, of Wembley, was found guilty at Willesden Magistrates Court of illegally evicting tenants.

Brent Council prosecuted him for the unlawful eviction of six occupiers, as well as for his failure to have an HMO licence and the poor conditions in the house which Brent enforcement officers found during an unannounced visit in January.

Sheikh, who is the landlord of eight properties in Brent, was convicted of all offences and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay costs of £9,000 and compensation totalling £11,000 to the evicted tenants.

The court heard that although Sheikh was receiving almost £3,000 each month in rent, the property was in a state of terrible disrepair, with holes in ceilings, walls and floor and filthy carpets.

The front of the property was also being used to dump rubbish.

When the tenants started to complain about the condition of the premises, Sheikh went to court to get rid of them. He fraudulently told the court that the tenants were squatters and unknown to him, and issued a claim to evict them.

Without telling the tenants about his plans, he obtained a possession order from the court and used it to evict the tenants in February, assaulting one of them in the process – a crime for which he was convicted in May.

He gave all the tenants – including one with two young children – just two hours to move out, even refusing requests to wait until children had returned from school.

Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent cabinet member for housing, said: “This was an appalling case which caused great distress to the victims and demonstrates the necessity of our private sector licensing scheme.

“Good tenants and their children were forced from their home by this heartless landlord’s deliberate actions.”

Sheikh, who pleaded guilty to all charges, has since appealed the custodial sentence and been granted bail pending the appeal hearing.

Since the start of this year, Brent council has considerably increased its enforcement activity, with between two to five prosecutions each week. More raids and prosecutions are expected in the coming months. Brent aren't the only council stepping up action against landlords.

IF YOU ARE A LANDLORD MAKE SURE YOU PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS TYPE OF ACTION - employ a good agent to keep you on the right side of the law. We offer very reasonable rates for letting and management, with no added VAT. 02890456162 - 24 hours.

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