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A Barnsley landlord has been ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid community work, to participate in 15 days of ‘rehabilitation’ training, and to pay compensation to a tenant after pleading guilty to unlawful eviction charges.
Barnsley Magistrates’ Court heard that in March 2020 Gary Dulson had been told that his tenant had moved into his partner’s property with his two young children.
Two days later Dulson went to his rental property, forced entry by breaking the door locks, and proceeded to empty the contents of the house into a large skip. When the skip was full, belongings were discarded in the garden.
Following a joint investigation by Barnsley Council and South Yorkshire Police into the allegation, Barnsley Council pursued prosecution for illegal eviction.
PC Paul Davies, seconded to Barnsley Council, said: ‘Making people homeless by way of illegal evictions is a horrible crime.
‘This case was exacerbated by the removal and damage of personal effects belonging to the family. There was no regard to the impact this would have on the family, especially the young children.
‘Mr Dulson clearly put his own needs before the rights of his tenant’.
Councillor Jenny Platts, said that while most landlords follow the correct eviction process, the council was committed to investigating all reports of tenants being harassed or forced to leave a rented property.
‘Keeping our residents safe in their homes is a priority for the council, and we encourage tenants to tell us if they believe they are being treated unfairly by their landlord or someone acting on their behalf’.