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Bristol Council is encouraging tenants in the town who believe they have been mistreated by landlords to seek rent repayment orders.
This is after a local landlord was ordered to repay over £3,000 because she had tried, illegally, to pressure tenants into leaving her property.
A First Tier Tribunal decision to make the order followed investigations by Bristol council’s ‘Private Housing Rogue Landlord Unit’.
Lucy Sherry was found to have breached the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 by harassing her tenants with reasonable cause to believe that her conduct would lead to them giving up occupation of the property.
Her actions included serving tenants with an invalid notice to leave the property; invading the tenants’ privacy; arranging viewings of the property without notice; ignoring housing advice giving by Bristol City Council; and sending a series of harassing emails.
She was ordered to pay £3,080 back to the tenants plus £300 in costs.
In a second case, Bristol landlord Charles Banda was ordered to repay £1,569 after failing to comply with an Improvement Notice served under the Housing Act 2004.
The FTT heard Banda had failed to remedy faults that included leaking sewage pipes and taps in a property occupied by a 69 year old adult. The council completed the works in default.
Bristol councillor Paul Smith, cabinet member for housing, said it was important for tenants to come forward and assert their rights.
‘The council is dedicated to assisting tenants where help is needed. If you are a private tenant being harassed in your home or if you have been illegally evicted, then you may be able to claim your rent back and we urge more tenants to come forward’.