A 24 month community order and 200 hours of unpaid work are the price being paid for an unlawful eviction.
Buy to let investor Gary Dulson has pleaded guilty to unlawful eviction.
Barnsley Magistrates’ Court was told that Dulson’s tenant had moved into his partner's property with his two young children to form a bubble at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.
Two days later Dulson attended the address, forced entry by breaking the locks and disposed of the contents of the house into a large skip. When the skip was full, other belongings were discarded in the garden.
Following a joint investigation by Barnsley council and South Yorkshire Police, the council pursued prosecution for illegal eviction.
Dulson was sentenced to a 24-month community order, 200 hours unpaid work, 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and to pay compensation to the victim.
PC Paul Davies, seconded to Barnsley council, says: “Making people homeless by way of illegal evictions is a horrible crime. This case was exacerbated by the removal and damage of personal effects belonging to the family. There was no regard to the impact this would have on the family, especially the young children.”
And a council spokeswoman adds: “Barnsley council takes a firm approach against anyone who attempts to evict a tenant without a possession order being granted by the court.
“Whilst the vast majority of landlords do follow the correct process, we are committed to investigating all reports of tenants being harassed or forced to leave a rented property.
“Keeping our residents safe in their homes is a priority for the council, and we encourage tenants to tell us if they believe they are being treated unfairly by their landlord or someone acting on their behalf.”