Illegal Eviction by Chiswick Landlord

Ousted couple forced to sleep under flower stall

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A rogue landlord who illegally evicted tenants from their home have been taken to court by the Wandsworth Council's housing department.

Zahid Malik, of Devonshire Road Chiswick, was convicted of unlawfully evicting tenants who had properly paid their rents and abided by all the terms of their tenancy.

His tenants were locked out of their home without warning, had all their belongings confiscated, and were left to wander the streets in only the clothes they were standing in. That night they were forced to sleep rough under the awning of a street flower seller's stall.

Malik was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £750 costs after a jury at Kingston Crown Court took just 20 minutes to convict him.

Housing spokesman Cllr Guy Senior said, "These innocent tenants were subjected to absolutely unacceptable treatment by their landlords. As a result these landlords have landed themselves with criminal records.

"Landlords should be under no illusion. We will simply not tolerate them bullying their tenants in this way.  If you are a landlord and you would like a tenant to leave then you simply must go through the proper legal channels and get any eviction order via the courts.

"Any tenant who is threatened with an illegal eviction or harassment should contact the council's housing department straight away."

Kingston Crown Court heard that Mr Malik rented a flat in Replingham Road, Southfields, to a trainee accountant and his wife. Although the couple paid their rent in full and on time, Mr Malik changed the locks to their home without warning and removed some – but not all of their belongings - from the flat.  That night, with nowhere else to go, the couple were forced to take shelter under a flower stall in Replingham Road.

The court was told that it took another two days before Mr Malik returned some of the couple's possessions he had removed from the flat – but another day passed before he returned other valuables including two laptops, a hard drive, credit cards and the couple's passports. At this point he also repaid the £170 advance rent he had taken from them only three days earlier.

August 25, 2010