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Landlord fined for attempting to evict tenant illegally - 07/12/16
Legal action by Hull City Council against Norman Porter has resulted in a conviction for attempting an illegal eviction. Mr Porter was fined £410, plus costs of £440 to Hull City Council and a victim surcharge of £41 (total £891) at Hull Magistrates Court on 11 November 2016 for turning off the electricity supply to an occupied, privately rented flat.

Mr Norman Porter, landlord of Flat 2, 66 Lee Smith Street, Hull, pleaded guilty under section 1(3a) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 of committing acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier, with the intent of causing the residential occupier to give up the occupation of the premises.

The tenant, who held an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, complained to Hull City Council's Private Housing (Environmental Health) Service, that in December 2015 the landlord had turned off the electricity supply to his flat and that the location of the electricity supply isolation switch was in a location within the property to which the tenant had no access. This left the tenant without heating, hot water, lighting or cooking facilities for at least 2 days during December 2015. Upon being contacted by an Environmental Health Officer from the Council's Private Housing (Environmental Health) Service Mr Porter reinstated the electricity supply.

Councillor Black, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Hull City Council, said: ""Anybody taking on the role of landlord needs to be fully aware of their responsibilities under the law. There is a legal process that must be followed to evict a tenant rather than the landlord resorting to unacceptable, unlawful behaviour.

""As a Council, our role is to ensure that tenants' rights are protected in cases such as this. Most landlords in the city have regard for tenants' rights and we receive relatively few complaints about harassment or illegal eviction in comparison to those of disrepair and poor housing condition. However, we are starting to see more therefore I hope that this prosecution will send out a message to landlords that they need to act within the law or face the consequences.""

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