Landlord took bed in ‘illegal eviction’

A LANDLORD has been given a suspended prison sentence after taking his tenant’s bed and bedroom door away in a bid to force the tenant out.

Simon Knight, 57, ‘harassed and illegally evicted’ the tenant, sparking a prosecution against the landlord, a council said.

He removed the tenant’s bedroom door and bed, padlocked the communal bathroom door shut and disconnected the power to the shower.

Now he has been ordered to pay out more than £10,000 in compensation, prosecution costs and court charges.

Knight, now of Norwood Green, ordered the tenant out of the home in Langton Road, Bishop’s Waltham, in November 2016.

But instead of formally terminating the tenancy, Knight ‘embarked on a course of conduct intended to force his tenant to leave’.

Winchester City Council said he also failed to repair the oven, washing machine, tumble dryer and kitchen extractor fan.

Knight was convicted under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 after changing the locks, preventing the tenant from getting in and from accessing his belongings and ‘essential medication’.

Councillor Caroline Horrill said: ‘This result sends a strong message that the city council will not tolerate rogue landlords taking advantage of their tenants’ private rented accommodation being in an unfit or unsafe condition.

‘Whilst we have a positive relationship with most landlords in the district, the actions of this landlord were evidentially unacceptable and resulted in real hardship for the tenant he illegally evicted.’

Knight, who denied any wrongdoing, was convicted after a trial at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

He was sentenced to a 12-week jail term, suspended for two years, with a 16-week curfew between 8pm and 6am.

Knight must pay £2,000 compensation, the council’s £8,490 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.