When Sheffield tenant, Antanas Danilevicius, went out to work on February 4th last year, he couldn’t have prepared himself for what he would return to that evening.
Having fallen behind on rent payments, his landlord took it upon himself to illegally evict Danilevicius, leaving his belongings, including his son’s toys, strewn across the pavement. This was done in conjunction with changing the locks to the property.
The landlord in question, also called Antanas (Kilbavicius), would live to regret this decision.
Whilst rent arrears are a valid reason for eviction, there are strict processes in place for doing things the right way. The fact that this all happened before the first coronavirus lockdown makes no odds. It was wrong then, and it would be wrong now.
Handing out a fine for £416, Sheffield City Council have made it to clear to Mr Kilbavicius, and other rogue landlords, that they will not tolerate any form of unlawful deprivation of occupation.
The £416 fine was made much worse with the £650 to be paid in compensation, plus £1283 in court costs.
A heft amount of money then, that hopefully serves as a reminder to landlords of the importance to not act in anger, but to instead seek professional support from companies like #TeamCES, and to go about pursuing an eviction in the right way.
Now, more than ever, tenants have lots of rights and landlords have lots of responsibilities. During times like we have all experienced over the last 18 months, on the whole, this is a good thing. It means fewer people are cast into homelessness and vulnerability.
As Sheffield City Council commented on this case…
…” everyone deserves to live in safe, good quality housing regardless of whether they rent or own their home.”
We’re not advocating building up rent arrears by any stretch though, and we actually half understand the landlord’s frustrations in this case, he just went about things in completely the wrong way.
We do also know, however, that this example of one ‘rogue landlord’ doesn’t negate the fact that there are thousands of landlords doing things the right way every single day.
It’s just the ‘bad eggs’ who make the paper.
Sheffield City Council are keen for this incident to not tarnish the reputation of the private rental sector, and it shouldn’t, because there are plenty of decent landlords out there.
We know, because we work with them all the time.