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City council prosecutes landlord for unlawfully evicting family of five

Chelmsford City Council has prosecuted a landlord who unlawfully evicted a family of five from their home in Chelmsford, Essex, it has been reported.

6 Pump Court, whose Angelica Rokad was instructed by the city council, said that the defendant evicted the family “in the middle of the night by changing the keys to their rental property, without their knowledge, and refusing to provide them with a copy of the new set”.

It added that the landlord “was also charged with unlawful harassment for entering the property without permission and, once there, instructing workmen to cut off the water supply at the property which had the effect of leaving the tenants, and their children, with no other option but to leave their home in the next few days”.

Following a 6 day trial, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all four counts on the indictment, and sentence is due to take place on 1 July 2022 at Chelmsford Crown Court.

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6 Pump Court said: “These offences are rarely seen before the Courts, with recent Ministry of Justice figures from March 2021 showing there has been an average of just 24 prosecutions each for unlawful evictions and unlawful harassment per year between 2016 and 2019, the most recent period for which data is available. Out of those, only around a half resulted in a conviction.”

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