Bristol Magistrates heard that Tahir Aziz of Glen Park, Eastville, failed to provide his tenant with a tenancy agreement or carry out any repairs, including a major leak.
Aziz responded to the tenant’s complaints to Bristol City Council by asking him to leave the studio flat in Lawrence Hill without prior notice. This happened during the winter coronavirus lockdown. When he eventually returned home, he found that the front door to the flat had been nailed shut leaving him without anywhere to live.
The police were contacted at this point but the landlord failed to respond to their requests to give the tenant access to the property.
Aziz ignored legal advice and claimed during the investigation that he did not know the tenant despite having received rent payments.
Aziz was prosecuted under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 after Bristol City Council’s Tenancy Relations Officers opened an investigation into the illegal eviction.
At Bristol Magistrates Court, Aziz was fined £345 and ordered to pay costs of £775. In addition Aziz was ordered to pay £1,200 in compensation to the victim. The tenant now has the option of suing the landlord for damages and receiving further compensation.
Cllr Tom Renhard, cabinet member for housing delivery and homes, said: “At a time when Bristol is experiencing a renting crisis and increases in rent prices far exceed rises to wages, renters really do deserve greater protection and improved standards.
“The council will take action to crack down on criminal landlords whilst also ensuring renters rights are enforced. The manner of this eviction had serious implications for the renter both personally and professionally, and it is unacceptable that they should left facing homelessness through the illegal acts of a landlord.
“We will continue to champion stronger protections for renters. This will include continuing to call for section 21 no fault evictions to be banned, among other measures.”