Rogue landlords who harass or illegally evict tenants are the subject of a new crackdown in Plymouth. Plymouth City Council is working in partnership with PATH (Plymouth Access to Housing) who have appointed a dedicated Tenancy Relations Officer to tackle these issues. The project involves the investigation of allegations of illegal eviction and harassment by landlords, and will see thorough enforcement action being taken against any landlord found to be flouting the law.
South West Landlords Association (SWLA) and Devon and Cornwall Police are partners in this initiative.
Illegal eviction, including a landlord or their agent physically denying a tenant access to their accommodation or taking a tenant’s key from them, is a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. Harassment of a tenant, including withdrawal of utilities, entering accommodation without informing the tenant and constantly contacting a tenant is a criminal offence under the same Act. Both offences carry the posibility of a custodial sentence. Councillor, Chris Penberthy Cabinet Minister for Coperatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council said “We are pleased to work with PATH on this important project and the officer is making great inroads into this sensitive area so far. The initiative forms part of our Plan for Private Rented Housing and our aim to drive up standards in the private rented sector. There are many excellent landlords in the private rented sector but we want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate the harassment or illegal eviction of tenants here in Plymouth. Tenants deserve to live happily and safely in their chosen home just as much as anyone else and we are working with our partners to ensure this happens”.