A landlord in Derby has been convicted of an illegal eviction and ordered by a court to pay a �1,600 fine.
After initially agreeing a 12-month rental for an unfurnished house with a young family, landlord Grace Young of Pear Tree Street, Derby then attempted to illegally evict them just nine months into the tenancy.
She initially served the tenants a handwritten note asking them to vacate the property before then serving two eviction notices, one of which was invalid.
Her actions then came to the attention of the Derby City Council's Housing Standards team, who prosecuted Young under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
At Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court, Young was fined �600 and ordered to pay costs of �950. In addition, she was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of �60.
The court heard that during the notice period, Young began to repeatedly stand outside the property and stare through windows and, while the tenants were away on holiday, entered the property and changed the locks without informing the tenants or providing them with new keys.
Councillor Matthew Eyre, Cabinet Member for Community Development, Place and Tourism said: All landlords have a duty of care to their tenants and while the vast majority of private landlords in the city take their legal obligations seriously, there are a small minority who don't.
'This prosecution sends a strong message to that minority of unscrupulous landlords that the Council is not afraid to take legal action to safeguard tenants and their wellbeing.'�