In August we published an interview with a senior Sunderland landlord who predicted that the financial and regulation challenges posed by Covid would tip many of his fellow landlords into evicting tenants illegally.

His comments were backed up only weeks later by a report that predicted a huge increase in illegal evictions across the UK.

And now a landlord in Barnsley has paid a high price for his part in this growing trend.

Thirty-nine year old landlord Gary Dulson has been sentenced at Barnsley Magistrates Court after it was revealed he had illegally evicted his tenant.

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The case relates to March last year when Dulson’s tenant told him he was moving temporarily to his partner’s home to form a bubble.
Dulson then broke down the property’s front door, threw all the tenant’s belongings into a skip.

At the hearing Dulson pleaded guilty and has been ordered to pay compensation to the victim.

Unpaid work

He has also been sentenced to a 24-month community order, 200 hours of unpaid work, and a 15-day rehabilitation programme.

His conviction follows a joint investigation by Barnsley Council and South Yorkshire Police.

PC Paul Davies (pictured), of South Yorkshire Police, told Yorkshire Live that Dulson had “no regard for the victim or his family”, he said.

“Making people homeless by way of illegal evictions is a horrible crime.”

An investigation by The News Statesman magazine in August last year estimated that some 3,000 illegal evictions are taking place every month in England, based on council homeless figures.


  1. Clearly this LLs behaviour is abhorrent but I wonder how many other LLs may be driven to use illegal means to evict tenants who have built up substantial arrears, with no way to pay them off and no Govt help available. The lack of a legal means to remove non-paying tenants is bound to have consequence on both sides.

  2. Maybe the landlord was not being paid his rent, and with a government working against landlords right now I can understand how they can become desperate. The bank will still be expecting their mortgage payments. This government has got this seriously wrong allowing tenants not to pay rent…. Especially HB tenants. I think not passing HB payments should amount to benefit fraud.

  3. PC Paul Davies (pictured), of South Yorkshire Police, told Yorkshire Live that Dulson had “no regard for the victim or his family”, he said.

    In the awful climate we are in at the moment it’s a shame that landlords aren’t afforded the same consideration that tenants are. Many landlords livelihoods have been destroyed by tenants abusing the situation.

  4. I think this article doesn’t say enough to form an informed opinion. Nevertheless, I agree with the above comments. I don’t believe there is any LL out there who wants to make someone homeless deliberately. LLs would not throw out a good tenant and there must have been an issue with this story.
    The quote from PC Davis however “Making people homeless by way of illegal evictions is a horrible crime” makes me wonder what people think about this statement: it is also a horrible crime that tenants don’t pay for their accommodation and commit benefit fraud by pocketing the housing benefit money, (and trash a property so badly that it costs over £12k to get a little two bed flat into a re-let state, as in my case). This is a horrible crime too and it is highest time that this is put before parliament.

  5. If a tenant does not pay rent or is 1 day late the landlord must have the right to evict within 24 hours unless the government wants to pay the rent.

    • james, with entitled thought processes like that, 1day late EVICT THEM!! ahaha and landlords abusing s21 its no wonder people think landlords are scum

  6. If you don’t pay a mortgage on time, you get a fine and credit score damage, and still have to pay it plus interest. Why isn’t rent the same?

  7. The owner did not understand how hard it is during the pandemic. They don’t understand that people are struggling to find work because the establishment has been close. The landlord should face the consequences

  8. There are many times when fair play and common sense dictates a tenant obviously deserves to be evicted and the law unfairly protects them. The policeman quoted says this is a terrible crime. Maybe he knows more than I do, which is only what is in the above report, but without hearing the landlord’s side of the story. I suspect he may have had very bad experience of the tenant and felt the law was acting against fair play. This policeman must’ve led a sheltered life if he rates this as a terrible crime. I guess he doesn’t see many murders or gang rapes on his patch!

  9. This demonstrates the spiraling imbalance in the relationship between landlords and tenants. Whilst landlords face the full force of the law, other than civil action (with increasing limitations), tenants can do what they like with impunity as far as the law is concerned.


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