Tenants in Stafford Borough are being urged to talk to the council if they have problems with their landlords.
The call comes from Stafford Borough Council after a locksmith was ordered to pay nearly £2,000 by magistrates after being found guilty of harassing his tenant.
The court was told Steve Chapman removed the door lock to a house in Marston Road, Stafford on Christmas Eve – leaving the tenant fea558ring for his possessions and not able to leave his home over the festive period.
Chapman, of Church Street, Hinstock, Market Drayton, denied three offences of harassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 in December last year when he appeared before North Staffordshire Justice Centre. He was found guilty on one charge – and magistrates cleared him of the other two. He was fined £950, with £930 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.
The court heard the defendant, who manages several properties, had wanted to gain entry to the house in Stafford to check that the property was tidy.
After the case on Monday (2 December) Karen Tierney, Head of Development at the borough council said: “We work closely with landlords to support the essential work they do providing good quality homes for our residents. However, we are determined to crack down on the small minority of landlords who feel that they can treat their tenants poorly - such as in this case by leaving their property and belongings insecure.
“I would urge tenants in the borough who have similar concerns to contact the Housing Standards Team at the Council.”
If you have concerns contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 01785 619000 or find more at https://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/rented-property-conditions-and-management
Press Release: 5582