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Criminal Behaviour Order for rogue agent after unlawful eviction

A lettings agency director has been issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order for unlawfully evicting a tenant back in 2019.

CFDP Ltd, trading as Belvoir Nuneaton and Hinckley, along with its director Clayton Foston, have been taken to court by Hinckley & Bosworth council for removing the possessions and changing the locks of a tenant’s flat while the tenant was unwell and in hospital. 

Foston appeared before Loughborough Magistrates’ Court for trial this week; he pleaded not guilty to the offence he was personally accused of, and pleaded not guilty on behalf of his limited company. 


However, magistrates found both to be guilty of an offence under Section 1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. 

CFDP Ltd (Belvoir) was fined £5,000 for the offence, and Foston received a personal fine of £1,000. Costs for taking the case of £3,472.76 were awarded to the council and a victim surcharge of £290 brought the final bill to the offenders to £9,762.76.

A Criminal Behaviour Order was also issued to Foston which places restrictions on his activity in the private rented sector.

The guilty verdict also allows the victims to seek civil compensation.

The council says it became aware of the offence in August 2019 after the former tenant raised concerns about the process by which they were removed from their previous home in April of that year.

A council spokeswoman says: “The council will not accept residents being displaced from their homes and will take appropriate action where it is required. 

“The process for ending a tenancy is set out clearly in law and guidance so there is no excuse for failing to afford your tenants due process. 

“While unlawful eviction in Hinckley and Bosworth is relatively rare this case should serve as a warning to those who may be considering it, especially after the last year of restrictions and financial challenges.”

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    It is a pity we didn't get to hear what the agents defence was . Was it an abandonment gone wrong or wilful disrespect for the tenants occupation? Who wants to bet that the tenant wasn't paying any rent?

    Paul Vincent

    Yes and it takes the best part if a year to evict a tenant, I’ve never heard of an agent evicting a good tenant who looks after the property and pays the rent.

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    I wonder if there was non-payment of rent and the agent issued an Abandonment Notice.

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    This agent is/was trading on my old patch of years ago and probably just didn't know the correct procedure, and possibly thought the tenant was not going to return. Perhaps the landlord was not getting any rent and instructed the naive agent to look for another tenant. It was common to find how many letting agents didn't know enough about eviction procedures so nothing surprises me anymore.

    Belvoir won't be happy and I suppose you might want to point the finger at them, but they have no say in the matter as it's the franchisee who was at fault. An abandonment notice wouldn't have altered the criminal actions of the agent and the best he could have hoped for if that was the case was mitigating circumstances.


    I agree that an abandonment notice would not have been a defence, but it would have shown he was trying to do the right thing.

    A shame the poor reporting made no mention of his defence.


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