Landlords Risk Criminal Action and Damages Claims
Landlords who unlawfully evict tenants living near to the Olympic Park in order to re-let the properties to visitors who are prepared to pay inflated prices during this summer’s Games risk facing criminal and civil action, according to experts at national law firm Irwin Mitchell.
The warning from property litigation specialist at national law firm, Irwin Mitchell, Danny Revitt, follows press reports that some tenants in London are being unlawfully evicted by landlords wanting to cash in on inflated rents during the Olympic fortnight.
Danny Revitt, Partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “There are reports that many homes near the Olympic venues are being let for 20 times the usual rental price during the games.
“Although it appears some landlords have been tempted into evicting clients for short-term economic gain, it is crucial that they do not forget their legal obligations.”
Mr. Revitt added: “Tenants who are complying with their tenancy agreements cannot be evicted during the term of the tenancy agreement and even if the tenancy is due to or has expired, the law under most modern tenancies is that at least two months’ notice must have been given to the tenant, which in some cases must also expire on a particular date.
"Tenants who are forced to leave against their will in breach of the legal procedures could take legal action against the landlord to recover damages for unlawful eviction. The damages awarded could be substantial and may far outweigh the inflated rents available.
“The authorities may also take criminal action against landlords who unlawfully evict their tenants, which can result in a fine or even imprisonment for up to two years.
“Any landlord seeking to benefit from the rents on offer should ensure that they follow all of the legal procedures correctly with any current occupiers.”