Landlord who dumped tenants’ belongings onto street and changed locks after they fell behind on rent is fined for illegal eviction

  • Antanas Danilevicius had fallen into rent arrears at the property in Sheffield 
  • He returned home from work to see his belonging strewn across the pavement
  • His landlord, Antanas Klibavicius, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court
  • The 40-year-old admitted one charge of unlawful deprivation of occupation
  • He was fined £416 and ordered to pay £650 in compensation to Mr Danilevicius

A private landlord who threw out a tenant’s belongings and changed the locks on the front door has been fined over the illegal eviction.

Antanas Danilevicius had fallen into rent arrears at the property in Basford Place, Sheffield.

He returned home from work in February last year to see his belongings, including his five-year-old son’s toys, strewn across the pavement.

His landlord, Antanas Klibavicius, had also packed up clothes, a TV, a vacuum cleaner, watch, bedding and collectable coins and put them outside.

Antanas Danilevicius had fallen into rent arrears at the property in Basford Place, Sheffield, before the landlord left his belongings strewn on the pavement

Sheffield City Council launched proceedings against 40-year-old Klibavicius and he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court where he admitted one charge of unlawful deprivation of occupation.

He was fined £416 and ordered to pay £650 in compensation to Mr Danilevicius. 

He was also ordered to pay £1,183 in court costs.

Janet Sharpe, Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services at Sheffield City Council, said: ‘We will not tolerate the harassment or illegal eviction of private tenants in this city as this case shows.

Sheffield City Council launched proceedings against 40-year-old Klibavicius and he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court (pictured) where he admitted one charge of unlawful deprivation of occupation

‘We have one of the most robust approaches to tackling illegal evictions of any city in the country and we have a zero-tolerance approach to those who intimidate and exploit vulnerable tenants.

‘Everyone deserves to live in safe, good quality housing regardless of whether they rent or own their home. 

‘I am determined to carry on clamping down on the very small minority of bad landlords in Sheffield who treat their tenants badly and tarnish the private rented sector.’ 

What are the rules of a lawful eviction?

Landlords require official permissions before they are lawfully allowed to evict a tenant in a strict process that includes issuing various notices, applying for court orders and getting a warrant for possession.

Missed rent payments are a valid reason for eviction but amid the coronavirus pandemic the Government put emergency measures into place to help prevent tenants losing their homes as unemployment rose.

But these are now being eased as lockdown begins to lift.

The latest changes will see the minimum notice period that landlords can give tenants reduced from six months to four months from June 1.

The Government said it would look to reduce notice periods even further, back to pre-pandemic levels, from October 1. However, this will depend on the progress that the country makes with the virus, it explained. 

It was also announced that the ban on tenant evictions would end on May 31.  

The ban has only been on physically evicting a tenant, which means landlords have been unable to start court proceedings.

But the ban has never been on serving Section 21 and Section 8 notices, which have been permitted throughout the pandemic.

A Section 21 notice starts the legal process for a landlord to evict tenants for whatever reason they like. 

A Section 8 notice starts the legal process to evict a tenant inside the fixed term of their tenancy, but can only be used if the tenant has breached their tenancy agreement and where certain conditions are met. 

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