A WARRINGTON landlord who illegally evicted a tenant has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £1,541 costs and compensation.
Adil Lahmer, 38, of no fixed abode, was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court.
He was convicted of the illegal eviction of his former tenant after initially denying the offence.
The court was told the case arose from a lengthy investigation by the borough council’s private sector housing team and legal services department after the victim went to the homelessness and housing advice service when he was illegally evicted due to Lahmer wanting to occupy the property himself.
Initially Lahmer stated he wanted to occupy the property to self-isolate as he was returning from Germany. But later it was found he wanted to stay in the property. Lahmer originally claimed that the signed tenancy agreement was a forgery but this was later found out not to be the case.
Recorder Richard Leiper said the offence was a deliberate act, planned in advance and committed in breach of a written agreement the day after a rental payment had been made by the victim.
Although the defendant may not have been aware of the seriousness of the offence and may well not be a commercial landlord, he had done very little to mitigate his culpability.
A factor was the defendant’s position from the outset that the tenancy agreement was a forgery when this was not the case.
While Lahmer said he was remorseful, that was not reflected in his account which differed from the evidence in the case.
The victim had suffered considerably. He had lost his, his studies were affected and a company he had recently set up was subsequently dissolved. There was also an impact upon his relationship with his children and he had lost most of his personal possessions.
Lahmer was sentenced to 24 weeks’ custody suspended for 18 months and 150 hours unpaid work over 18 months. He was ordered to pay £541 compensation to the victim and £1,000 towards the council’s costs.
“If you are a private tenant and are illegally evicted, then the council may be able to assist with finding you alternative accommodation, negotiating with the landlord on your behalf or even supporting a prosecution against your landlord, if there is sufficient evidence.”
For more information on the council’s Homelessness and Housing Advice Service, visit: www.warrington.gov.uk/conflict-home.