A landlord has been fined for illegally evicting a tenant and his five-year-old son by changing the locks and throwing their belongings onto the street.

The unusually callous and illegal approach of his landlord has made headlines both in the UK and in Lithuania where both the tenant and landlord are from.

Antanas Danilevicius had fallen behind on his rent payments and returned home from work to find his son’s toys strewn across the pavement. His clothes were also packed up along with his TV, vacuum cleaner, collectible coins and bedding.

Landlord Antanas Klibavicius had gone to the house in Basford Place while Mr Danilevicius wasn’t in and changed the locks. 

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Sheffield City Council fined Klibavicius £416 after he admitted the unlawful eviction.  Klibavicius also has to pay £650 in compensation to Mr Danilevicius and £1,283 in court costs. 

Director of housing and neighbourhood services, Janet Sharpe (pictured), says the council has one of the most robust approaches to tackling illegal evictions of any city in the country and a zero-tolerance approach to those who intimidate and exploit vulnerable tenants.

She adds: “Everyone deserves to live in safe, good quality housing regardless of whether they rent or own their home. I am determined to carry on clamping down on the very small minority of bad landlords in Sheffield who treat their tenants badly and tarnish the private rented sector.”

Read more: illegal evictions growing in number.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Janet Sharpe says the council will be robust in supporting a working tenant to steal use of a house from the legal owner whilst paying no rent.

    I’m not sure where this logic of everyone deserves to live in a house free of charge comes from , be good to hear in what way the landlord in this case was exploiting a vulnerable tenant. There is no mention that there is anything wrong with the property but Janet suggests that everyone deserves to live in safe, good quality housing, what even if they don’t pay rent?

    Perhaps using Janet’s logic I’ll stop paying my mortgage and she and the council will support me when the evil building society looks to repossess.

    • Yes! I agree with you Gtim if Janet can prived rent-free, safe and good quality house why not? Perhaps she should be opening her ‘s door to let vulnerable tenant in. but remember that must be free!

      Susan

  2. There were plenty of comments on the Daily Mail online article supporting the landlord, and the ratings of the comments were all by far and away in favour of the landlord.

  3. When it is impossible to evict a tenant legally people should not be surprised when some LLs do it illegally. The total of the fines etc is probably equivalent to about 3 or 4 months rent – a cheap way to get rid of a non paying tenant.

    Oh – and where is the outrage at a tenant falling behind in paying the rent on the property? There is none because it is so common & now apparently acceptable.

  4. I can’t find any outrage either at home or abroad. If there is any it must be from very few people, perhaps just the family of the man who wasn’t paying his rent. Who else at home or abroad would be outraged by one defaulting tenant being evicted?

  5. Did the tenant get to stay in the property or was the property rented to someone new? I have a tenant who is able to pay but refuses. 6 month notice is a joke. The government is protecting the home of someone who is breaking a contract wilfully but is happy to see me lose my home due to loss of income.
    Seriously considering doing the same. As Tricia Urquhart stated, the fines are cheaper than the loss in rental income.

  6. (Not Janet Sharpe)
    I let properties in Wales and am therefore accountable to the delightful Rent Smart Wales.
    As tempting as it might be to evict a tenant illegally and pay the fines when there is currently no prospect of getting rid of feckless tenants by legal means, we must remember that a landlord’s licence could be withdrawn following such a conviction. The terms of the licence state that the landlord must be a fit and proper person, which means someone without convictions for property related offences.

  7. This case is a classic example of if the LL doesn’t remove the tenant and relet the LL might not be able to pay the mortgage.
    Miss two mortgage payments and the lender will repossess.

    The feckless rent defaulting tenant is removed by the lender.
    The LL is possibly bankrupted.

    Any LL who illegally evicts any feckless rent defaulting tenant is certainly NOT a rogue LL.

    They are doing the most sensible thing.

    Illegal eviction beats being bankrupted by a feckless rent defaulting tenant.

    The rogue isn’t the LL it is the tenant.

    I know if I was on a jury I would say Not Guilty for wrongful eviction.
    The law is an ass and should be ignored.

    Feckless tenants should be booted out.

    Few of them will contest things.
    They know they are in the wrong.

    If they manage to get in the property again they could find themselves removed again!-

    It is about time LL engaged in mass illegal evictions.

    Civil disobedience on a mass scale.

    It is outrageous that rent defaulting tenants are legally allowed to financially destroy a LL.

    Govt would soon take notice of all the LL booting out their feckless tenants.

    Right thinking people would totally support LL booting out rent defaulting tenants.

    These feckless tenants cause massive tax losses and prevent rental properties being occupied by tenants who will pay rent.

    The PRS CANNOT continue with this state of affairs.
    The dysfunctional eviction process must be amended.
    Facilitating LL to boot out rent defaulters with NO court action being required after 45 days.

    Thst 45 day period includes 2 months of rent default and a 14 day NTQ

    If this eviction process is not changed even more LL will stop letting on AST to single households.

    It is simply NOT tenable for LL to remain in business if the eviction process isn’t changed to as I suggest.

    This fast eviction process ONLY to be used when a tenant rent defaults.

    This LL did the right thing.
    It is not the LL that has done anything wrong

    It is the eviction process that is wrong.

    But we all know Govt will never make it easy for LL to get rid of rent defaulters.

    • I agree with what you say, Paul. The Covid situation put me in a very difficult position too, and I had to resist the temptation to act illegally.
      My tenant had failed to pay rent and to communicate despite extensive efforts on my part to assist her, and was due to be evicted by the bailiff on 25 March 2020. Following the failed eviction, I was able to claim some of her rent from UC, until the payment did not take place in August. When I finally found out from UC that she had moved on and taken her benefits with her, I renewed my attempts to communicate with her, only to receive a message saying that she was keeping the house until she was able to collect the last few sticks of furniture she had left behind. She refused my assistance in moving the remaining contents to her new home. I would like to have claimed abandonment and re-let it immediately, but the NRLA advised that she had probably kept that message and could sue me for an unlawful eviction if I changed the locks, refurbished and re-let it. The further consequence would have been the potential loss of my landlord licence. Apparently, she was entitled to have more than one tenancy even if she was no longer living there, and owing to local and circuit breaker lockdowns the bailiff would not have got there until 23 November to evict her. After several more attempts to contact and reason with her, I was delighted to note that a relative of hers had persuaded her to surrender the tenancy properly on 17 October, at which point I was able to take legal possession of the property.
      This case does show quite clearly the contempt shown to landlords by politicians. There are more tenants than landlords, and the government seeks to take the centre ground in order to win more votes. The recent elections show that this was a successful move for the Conservatives in England in the recent elections.

  8. The law helps the Tenant far more than the Landlord, it is all so one sided.
    At the moment the Landlord has little to no chance of getting a Tenant out.

  9. Well done to this landlord, the law and the courts are failing to enforce a legally binding document that a tenant has signedcstateingvthey will pay rent…. If the tenant is behind more than 2 months you should be allowed to go and change the locks, and put their belongings in storeage for 14 days to allow them to collect it… The law is failing the person in the right and defending the one in the wrong… So hopefully more of this until the law supports the person in the right…

  10. Well done landlord for having the guts to take action. It was cheaper paying the fines than waiting for a legal eviction. Perhaps the tenant could have sold his collectible coin collection to pay the rent.

  11. I wonder, in a dire situation if you had to rent out your house to be able to pay thag mortgage.
    And then move into your tenanted property with your nonrent paying tenant, what could they do to you prosecute you for tresspass, kick you out and efectively make you homeless….
    Just saying…..
    What if within your tenants legal agreement it was stipulated that if rent was not able to be payed for a stipulated period you would have the right to allow a nother person to move in and share the property to reduce the burdon of unpayed rent?
    Just a naughty thought…..

  12. A tenant doesn’t pay rent, so the landlord evicts illegally. So really, the landlord is no better than a tenant who doesn’t pay. There are means to evict tenants lawfully. Yes, Covid has made things difficult but that doesn’t make it right that someone can flout the law because it is the easier option. It’s rather like a landlord who doesn’t protect a deposit and then tries to justify it because the tenant hasn’t paid rent and get away with issuing a duff notice. All tenants should pay rent, but if they don’t, landlords are encouraged to evict illegally? That can’t be right.

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