Chelmsford City Council stands up for vulnerable tenants and wins case against landlord
Tenants in Chelmsford can feel assured that the council will challenge unfair or unsafe treatment by landlords, after it won a conviction in the courts.
Chelmsford City Council took Susan Wu to court for illegal eviction and harassment.
She had unlawfully evicted a family of five from their home in Chelmsford. The locks to the property were changed without the tenants' knowledge that this would happen. They were not given a copy of the new keys, until the council intervened. The keys were then given back to them in the middle of the night.
In addition, the landlord was also charged with unlawful harassment for instructing workmen to cut off the water supply at the property which had the effect of leaving the tenants with no other option but to leave their home.
Case heard in crown court
Chelmsford City Council instructed barrister Angelica Rokad in the case held in Chelmsford Crown Court. The jury returned guilty verdicts on all four counts on the indictment, and sentence is due to take place on 1 July at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Councillor Rose Moore, the city council's Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford says action will be taken to protect tenants.
"Everyone has a right to enjoy a safe and secure home. If you rent your property, your landlord has a responsibility to keep it well-maintained and safe. In this instance the landlord's conduct did not meet the standard we require.
Chelmsford City Council is committed to upholding tenants' rights and has a robust housing standards policy that ensures tenants are protected. This case shows that we will not hesitate to take action against unscrupulous landlords. We need to stamp out the awful practice of illegal eviction and harassment."
You can find more information for tenants on the Chelmsford City Council website.