October 22 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Monday, February 3, 2014
A letting agent who waged a war of intimidation against a family living in a Newham property he managed, has been given a suspended prison sentence and told to complete 120 hours of community service.
The agent from Bow was prosecuted by Newham Council under the Protection of Eviction Act 1977 after a tenant in a Green Street flat that he managed approached the local authority for help after he was illegally evicted. The tenant received threatening texts from the agent and his gas and electricity were disconnected.
Councillor Andrew Baikie, executive member for housing and customer service, said: “This was an appalling case which caused great distress to the victims and demonstrates the necessity of our private sector licensing scheme. This couple and their baby were forced from their home by this heartless agent’s deliberate actions.”
In December 2013, the tenant successfully sued the landlord at Bow County Court for £7,000 in damages. This was because the landlord disposed of the tenant’s personal belongings from the property, which included his wedding photographs and other sentimental items.
The letting agent was found guilty in December at Inner London Crown Court, of causing an illegal eviction. On January 17 he was given a five-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months on condition that he completes 120 hours community service. He must also pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs.