Landlord fined after illegally evicting couple from flat

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A landlord who dumped a couple’s possessions on the lawn outside their rented flat and changed the locks has been found guilty of illegal eviction.

Mitesh Patel, 44, of Chanctonbury Way, Southgate, Crawley, was fined £1,700 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs and £300 compensation at Horsham Magistrates’ Court on December 18 for illegally evicting the Crawley couple from one of his properties.

Crawley Borough Council say that the couple approached the council to report the eviction. They said they had returned to their rented property in February 2017 to find their possessions on the lawn outside their flat and that the locks had been changed.

Mr Patel had pleaded not guilty to the breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

The evicted couple were later helped by Crawley Borough Council to find alternative private rented accommodation with the council’s ‘Rent Deposit Scheme.’

Council leader Peter Lamb said after the hearing: “Rogue landlords cannot just evict privately rented tenants whenever they want. They must follow the correct legislation and issue notices in the right way.

“Landlords who break the law now know that we are serious about protecting tenants’ rights.”