In a landmark case, a buy-to-let landlord has been prosecuted for both illegal sub-letting and illegally evicting at the same time!
Mr Rami Nazzal, 35 and from Sheffield, pleaded guilty at his hearing at Sheffield Magistrates Court last week.
After illegally sub-letting his council home, Mr Nazzal then evicted his tenant using excessive force. As such, the Court delivered a guilty verdict upon prosecution.
Nazzal allowed the tenant to rent his property for six months before forcing his tenant to leave after an argument.
Mr Nazzal was fined a total of £1,923, including £250 compensation and a victim surcharge of £15.
The victim, student Ata Allah Alalawi, who had moved to the Steel City in order to complete his studies, said, ‘he (Nazzal) told me it was his own property. He lied to me. I didn’t know he was a council tenant.’
After informing Mr Nazzal of his intentions to leave, Alalawi claims the landlord began to demand extra rent and became threatening.
Alalawi also claims that Nazzal grabbed him, forced him to leave the property and threatened to withhold his personal belongings should he call the police.
Sheffield City Council’s housing team is now undertaking legal proceedings in order to evict Nazzal from his council house.
Council wins landmark illegal sub-letting and eviction case
Councillor Jayne Dunn, a cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, observed: ‘this person was breaking the law on two accounts-by illegally sub-letting his rented home and by forcing an eviction. This has been recognised by the courts and I hope it sends a strong message that rogue landlords will not be tolerated.’
‘We want people to be able to live in good, safe housing, where their rights are respected. Thankfully most letting agents and landlords in Sheffield are very good. But we will take firm action on the minority that are not,’ Dunn pledged.