Gary Dulson, 39, of Barnsley, has been convicted after previously pleading guilty to Barnsley Magistrates Court’s unlawful eviction.
He was sentenced to a 24-month community order, two hundred hours of unpaid work, a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and to pay compensation to the tenant.
Barnsley Magistrates’ Court was informed by the prosecution that the landlord Mr Dolson’s tenant had moved into his partner’s property with his two young children to form a bubble at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.
Two days later, the landlord attended the let property. He forced entry by breaking the door locks and disposing of the house contents into a large skip. When the skip was full, the tenant’s belongings were wantonly discarded in the garden.
Following a joint investigation by Barnsley Council and South Yorkshire Police into the allegation, Barnsley Council pursued illegal eviction prosecution.
PC Paul Davies seconded to Barnsley Council, said: “Making people homeless by way of illegal evictions is a horrible crime.
“This case was exacerbated by the removal and damage of personal effects belonging to the family. There was no regard to the impact this would have on the family, especially the young children.
“Mr Dulson put his own needs before the rights of his tenant.”
Councillor Jenny Platts, a Cabinet Spokesperson for Adults and Communities, added: “Barnsley Council takes a firm approach against anyone who attempts to evict a tenant without a possession order being granted by the court.
“Whilst most landlords do follow the correct process; we are committed to investigating all reports of tenants being harassed or forced to leave a rented property.
“Keeping our residents safe in their homes is a priority for the council, and we encourage tenants to tell us if they believe they are being treated unfairly by their landlord or someone acting on their behalf.”
Mr Sasha Charles, a director of Landlord Advice UK said: Unlawful eviction is a serious matter with severe consequences. Unlawfully evicting any tenant, especially in winter and with COVID-19 is a thoughtless act.
Author: Amanda Goldsmith
Date: 12th of February 2021