Illegal Eviction – A True Story

by Readers Question

9:26 AM, 24th August 2012
About 6 years ago

Illegal Eviction – A True Story

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Illegal Eviction – A True Story

As this is a true story about an illegal eviction I would like to remain anonymous please.

I witnessed it, it wasn’t my property and it was not a scene you would associate with an illegal eviction. No thugs with baseball bats, just respectable people in a respectable suburb close and the Police keeping a watchful eye on proceedings. It was well organised. I was invited to attend three days before by two separate people, the landlords arranging the illegal eviction and my tenants who lived three doors along. So what was it all about?

Background

The landlord in question had made a big mistake, a mistake he considered to be much bigger than the one he was planning. He had let his property to four single young lads. He took them on face value when he met them and felt they looked like respectable young men. He thought he had done his due diligence as he had checked they were all employed and had the ability to pay the rent. He couldn’t check their background though as they were from another country, until now they had all been living with friends.

The day they moved in they had a party, the neighbours were miffed as it went on all night but didn’t say too much about it. The same thing happened the next night and then the night after. The group of party goers was growing too and by this time the neighbours were getting very upset as they were losing sleep. The parties were as much in the street and the garden as in the house. On the 4th night there was a fight and the Police were called. This became a regular occurrence apparently. I didn’t get to hear much about this straight away but was eventually informed when my tenants told me that they were looking for another place and wanted to know how to serve notice when they found one.  I wasn’t sure what to do. However, a few days after I’d first heard about this my tenants called me back to say that the four lads were being evicted at 11am on Saturday and did I want to go along. I then had a similar call within an hour from the landlords of the other property, I’d never met them or had any dealings with them before and even at that point I had no idea that they were planning an illegal eviction.

The day of the illegal eviction

Curiosity got the better of me on the day, it was a bit like driving past a car crash – you know you shouldn’t be rubber necking but it’s hard not to isn’t it?

I parked my car about half a mile away and walked around to meet my tenants who live three doors up. I arrived about half an hour early as I wanted to hear all the gossip. My tenants 14 year old daugher answered the door and told me that everybody was meeting in the house a few doors down across the rad.  I popped over, introduced myself and was welcomed in and offered tea and biscuits. All of the residents of the close were there. It was only then I found out that the troublesome tenants had only been there six weeks. Clearly this was an illegal eviction but this was far from a lynch mod, the average age was about 65 and they all seemed nice people.

Just before 11am the police arrived, one of the wives of the residents had called them as she was getting worried about what might happen. I just kept my mouth shut.

They all stood on the garden watching as the landlords, an elderly husband and wife knocked on the tenants door. The police stood at the end of the short garden path leading to the door. Come on they said, pack your stuff, you’ve had your warning, it’s eviction day and you are out of here. The tenants saw the police, apologised profusely, packed their stuff and left. I couldn’t believe what I had seen. When it was all over and they had gone it was back for more tea and sandwiches.

I just couldn’t help talking to the other landlords at this point.

You do know that what just happened was illegal don’t you, I said. I expected to have to tell them all about landlord and tenant law but they politely nodded and said, yes we do. Are you aware of the potential consequences, I asked. Oh yes, they replied, “we’ve taken advice from a solicitor who told us that the reality is that we might be slapped with a fine of a few thousand pounds and be forced to pay damages if these tenants take matters any further. That’s well worth it to keep the peace though in our opinion and we are willing to take the risk.”

“Wouldn’t you?” they asked.

 



Comments

6:00 AM, 25th August 2012
About 6 years ago

Well done! It's about time Landlords started taking control. This county has molly coddled tenants for far too long.

9:08 AM, 25th August 2012
About 6 years ago

On conviction for unlawful eviction or harassment, the court may impose a
fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000)
and/or six months imprisonment for summary jurisdiction.
If tried on indictment, the court may impose an unlimited fine and/or two years’ imprisonment.

but,.....

The Criminal Law Act 1977 also creates an offence where any person,
whether or not the landlord, uses or threatens violence against either
people or property in order to gain entry into premises. However, an
offence is committed only if the person seeking entry knows that there
is someone present on the premises at the time of attempted entry, and
that that person is opposed to the entry (section 6).
This is
punishable with a fine not exceeding level 5 of the standard scale (up
to £5, 000) and/or a sentence of up to six months imprisonment.

Looks to me like the Tenants left of their own free will, No case to answer !!!

13:27 PM, 25th August 2012
About 6 years ago

I probably would have done the same given that these foreign lads probably didn't have the funds to hire a solicitor to defend their position against the landlord. At the end of the day, all a landlord wants is his rent paid, his property respected, and that his tenants don't cause argo with the surrounding neighbors. Good calculated risk to take. Armella

Recardo Knights

22:51 PM, 25th August 2012
About 6 years ago

landlords take a risk by buying a property & then letting it out. We still have to pay the mortgage even if the tenant does not pay the rent.
There was a new conversion of 4 flat in an old building, th building was mostly knocked down and rebuilt. The 2 upstairs flats were mor expensive and larger than the ground floor flats.
I brought one & lent my kids the deposit for the other one on the first floor. All went well for a few years, then my kids got tenants through an agency that are suposed to do all the checks, I instructed them and have used them before & (still do).
A young couple move in and after a couple of months faild to pay the rent, The couple in flat 1 & 2 ground floor had called me as I manage the building for free, they are retired brought their flats and haven't a clue. they said there was comings and going all night, noise and parties etc. As pensioners they did not feel safe.
I called th guy on a tuesday and said it is my kids flat , they have to pay the mortgage and you have to pay the rent. If it's not in their account by thursday I am comming to through you out on Saturday.
He says i know my rights you can't make me leave for months. I said it's not my flat, don't care about a morons rights pay the rent or I will see you on saturday. I will be there at 9 0/c if you are still there you are going head first down the stairs or through the window, no one messes with my kids. He said he will be waiting for me & I couldnt care.
Got there 8.45 am on saturday as no rent was paid, and they had gone.
I might have gone to prison & he may have ended up in hospital if lucky.
The law is an ass pay the rent or live with family or in a tent.

Joe Bloggs

7:21 AM, 26th August 2012
About 6 years ago

the landlords were heros. i dont think there was an illegal eviction...the tenants were politely asked to leave and they agreed.

12:35 PM, 26th August 2012
About 6 years ago

These circumstances have been got away with because the tenants were not aware of their rights.
If I was one of those tenants I would have told the evictors to F--- Off.
If they attempted to force me out or change the locks when I was out then I would inform the police that I had been illegally evicted and I was breaking into my the rental property and would change the locks again.
The police would be obliged to ensure that that I was able to come and go from the rental property until a bailiff enforced an eviction order.
It is of course scandalous that a wrongun tenant like me could work the system to that extent.
That however is the reality of the law.
These evictors were very lucky they were up against ignorant tenants.
I'm sure if they went to their local TRO and came up with a TRO like BRL then the evictors might find they would be facilitiating access to those evicted tenants double quick or Ben would be forced to commence legal proceedings against the evictors.
I don't think the careers of the cops standing by whilst the illegal eviction was carried out will be enhanced by their taking no action to prevent the illegal eviction!!!

13:38 PM, 26th August 2012
About 6 years ago

I wholeheartedly agree with your actions.
I wouldn't have the bottle to do what you have done.
I have too much to lose if I had a criminal record.
But messing with a man's family is not something to be done lightly, something this tenant worked out; which accounted for his absence.
When It comes to families the old red mist, justifiably can come down.
I think this tenant got the message and disapppeared.
It is however outrageous that the law protects these s---bags from justice.
The law protects them from complying with the terms of their AST contract and can cause massive detriment to LL who are normally perfectly law abiding people.
It just sticks in the craw that tenants can basically stick 2 fingers up at the LL and the LL is stuck with following the civil eviction service.
Such delays could bankrupt a LL whilst the tenant just walks away with no detriment to themselves.
They can steal, and cause damage at the property and the police will take no action as they will say it is a civil offence!!!!
There should certainly be an amendment to the law to ensure that a non-rent payer is regarded as a squatter and may therefore be removed from the property forthwith, unless they can prove to the police that they are up to date with the rent or that the LL does not require the tenant to vacate following due noiice via Section8 or 21

John Curtis

22:03 PM, 26th August 2012
About 6 years ago

In other countries if you do not pay your rent your out, no section 21 or 8. Just notice to pay or leave, the police will help. Also if you don't pay your services bill they cut you off, no water, no electric and don't think you can just walk away because your identity number is recorded and the law follows you, No escape.
Pity it doesn't happen in UK.

0:08 AM, 27th August 2012
About 6 years ago

The actions may be slightly questionable in law but the law, as it stands does nothing to assist Landlords in moving on Bad Tenants quickly. There is ever growing legislation to protect tenants which is fine, however it is about time that the scales were balanced a little.
Another facet that is alied to this is that it is so easy for bad tenants to "hide behind" the Freedom of Information Act.

11:26 AM, 27th August 2012
About 6 years ago

I too have let out to people who on the face of it seem fine but then are not. one thing i have on my tenancy agreement is a clause that says i am resident in the property. this then gives me different rights to eviction. worth considering

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