A landlord has been fined just £440 after he effectively left a tenant homeless.
Warrington Magistrates Court heard that Peter Lamont, the landlord of a property in Widne, Lancashire, unlawfully deprived his tenant of access to the property by changing the locks which left him homeless.
Lamont, also of Widnes, pleaded guilty to a single charge under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and was fined £440 and ordered to pay the costs incurred by Halton council, which brought the prosecution.
Council spokeswoman Stef Nelson said: “It’s a criminal offence for any letting agent or landlord to illegally evict tenants from their property. Landlords and letting agents must follow the correct legal process when terminating a tenancy.
"We hope that this successful prosecution sends out a clear message that we take allegations of illegal eviction very seriously and will not hesitate to take action against landlords and letting agents who violate the rights of their tenants.”