Harassment:

A landlord has been fined almost £2,000 after he locked the tenants’ bathroom and cut off the gas and electricity supplies because the tenants were in rent arrears.

The HMO landlord 66 years old Amrik Manku, tried to extract the arrears by withholding the services to his tenants, and act of harassment in contravention of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, a criminal offence.

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One of Manku’s five tenants reported issues to Brighton and Hove City Council in November 2018 about the landlord not having an HMO licence for the house in Ashurst Road, Moulsecoomb. When Manku subsequently received a letter from the Council informing him that he was committing a criminal offence, he started taking revenge on his tenants.

Prosecuting for the city council at Brighton Magistrates Court yesterday, and reported by Brighton & Hove News, Len Batten said:

“The officer visited the property on 17 January … and was told that Manku and his son had been aggressive.

“Keypad locks had been fitted to the electricity cupboard and the bathroom to stop the tenants using them until they had cleared their rent arrears.

“The tenants had removed the locks by the time of the visit.

“On 31 January, a member of the public, Jenny, who lived in the adjoining property called and said the previous evening the defendant and his son had removed parts of the boiler, electricity box and front door lock, leaving the property insecure.”

A further visit by Council housing officers found that the house was without a usable gas and electricity supply.

Manku, who is reported to live in a £1m property in Amesbury Crescent, did have an HMO licence for the two-storey house, but it had expired in November 2017 and was not renewed. He blamed his daughter, a legal executive, for the oversight as she had been responsible for the paperwork on the flat and had since moved abroad.

Pleading guilty to both charges of having control of an unlicensed HMO, and withdrawing or withholding services (harassment) Manku told the court:

“Five young men who set upon me, a 66-year-old man, what they have done is aggravated the situation and I can only apologise to the court for my behaviour.

“The tenants also changed the locks, once when I was abroad at the beginning of November and secondly in January. I have a right to inspect the property and any attempt to update the property was not possible because I could not get access.

“They actually barricaded the back door, denying me access and that’s unlawful on their part.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. Give me an example of any service industry that non payment will be tolerated. Houses/flats are expensive, and a Landlord should have the right to immediately evict their tenants if they do not pay the rent.
    If you buy anything, for example, a car or sofa and you fail with the payment it will be immediately re-possessed.
    The government is at fault. This is discrimination against Landlords who are under constant pressure to try to adhere to expensive and constant new rules. Sensible rules, no one can object to, bu, e.g I am renewing my House Rental Contract and the paperwork alone weighs 1 kilo!!!
    Work to get rid of all this ridiculous expensive red tape, and bias towards the tenants. Licencing is another totally useless and expensive legal requirement. Since obligatory membership, they have done nothing at all for us except take our money. How can this be right. Al they do with our money is pay themselves to do nothing of ny gain for Landlords.

    • I Agree with you ,
      Now the Courts are also treating repossession order applications unfairly,
      Because the judge knows if a tenant is evicted, then judge as a resident of the country will also foot the tax payers bill of rehousing the evicted tenant by the councils emergency process .
      So now the judges seem to be unfairly ruling eviction application cases!

  2. Absolutely pathetic the tenant is in arrears, denying the landlord access so and he’s being made the victim the court system in unjust! But it’s okay for the tenant not to pay their rent and eventually run away without paying.

  3. If Jeremy corbyn gets in at the next general election I will be selling my properties because the planned changes that he wants to introduce will make letting non profitable for landlords, he’s going to send us all skint .

  4. The housing shortage has caused the government to harshly treat us landlords who made the mistake of filling the gap created by governments failures to provide accommodation to a growing population especially in around London . Now we are being hounded and punished by all in government.
    But you know there are Two million landlords in UK . Providing to 10 million tenants. Surely we have some CLOUT ?
    Why is it we r taking it lying down . Has anyone got any idea how to use the fact there r 2 million of us landlords, and we have got some say.
    How about showing them by starting one of those parliament petitions?
    Does anyone know how to start one to reverse section 21 plans ?

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