Private landlords warning after ‘landmark’ Sheffield trial

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PRIVATE landlords are being warned to stick to the rules as Sheffield Council says it will pursue further cases in the wake of a landmark prosecution.

The authority said the nine-month jail sentence given to Jay Allen, aged 30, of Padley Way, Sheffield Lane Top – for throwing a tenant onto the streets minus his shoes after failing to pay the rent on time – was the first time a council prosecution has led to a custodial sentence in 20 years.

Allen and an accomplice forcibly evicted Chris Blades from a shared house on Handsworth Road, Sheffield, without a court order. Allen was found guilty of unlawful eviction.

Sheffield Council said a crucial difference was the case went to full trial rather than the defendants being dealt with more leniently in the light of a guilty plea.

Coun Harry Harpham, cabinet member for housing, at Sheffield Council, said: “Landlords take note – we will not tolerate this kind of activity.

“We are committed to making sure that private renting offers a safe and desirable form of housing. This includes making sure that there are high standards and responsible management.

“We believe that unlawful eviction cannot be tolerated in a successful and responsible private rented sector.”