Most buy to let landlords are well aware of the need to issue the appropriate notices under the Housing Act to bring a tenancy to an end and to have landlord insurance in place. However there are still some who seem to think they can take the law into their own hands. A landlord of let property in Blackburn has been fined £800 with costs of £500 after changing the locks when the tenant was out. The landlord also had to pay a “victim surcharge” of 15.
The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes it a criminal offence to “unlawfully deprive” the tenant of his occupation. Changing the locks is an example of this and others would include removing the tenants’ personal possessions, physically ejecting them or preventing them from using part of the property such as the bathroom.
Taking on the role of buy to let landlord can be rewarding but it involves legal responsibilities. There is plenty of advice on the internet and if in doubt consult specialist lawyers. As always, make sure your landlords’ insurance is up to date and gives you all the protection you need.
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