A landlord has been found guilty of illegally evicting a couple from their rented property.
Mitesh Patel, 44, of Chanctonbury Way, Southgate was fined £1,700 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000 and £300 compensation at Horsham Magistrates’ Court on 18 December for illegally evicting the Crawley couple from one of his properties.
A couple approached Crawley Borough Council to report 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.
The case was passed to the Investigation Team who gathered evidence to prove the couple had been illegally evicted by Mr Patel.
Mr Patel had pleaded not guilty to the breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
The evicted couple were helped by Crawley Borough Council with the assistance of its Rent Deposit Scheme to find alternative private rented accommodation.
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said: “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.”