Rent refund for victim of unlawful eviction

A Bicester man who was left sleeping in his car after being unlawfully evicted is set to receive a £7,960 rent refund.

Published: Monday, 10th June 2019

In January 2019, after an investigation by Cherwell District Council, Ali Murat Terzi of Abingdon pleaded guilty to an unlawful eviction at Oxford Magistrates’ Court. As a result, the tenant was able to apply for a Rent Repayment Order with the support of the council and, on Friday, 24 May, a First Tier Tribunal ordered that he be refunded a year’s worth of rent paid prior to the illegal eviction.

The tenant realised that he had been evicted when he returned home one day in April 2018 to find most of his possessions piled up on the garden patio. With the locks of the house changed, he was unable to access his medication.

Cllr John Donaldson, lead member for housing, said: “This was an awful experience for the tenant, and we are really pleased to have been able to help him win compensation for having lost his home.

“We have lots of excellent landlords in our district, but this conviction and the Rent Repayment Order will stand as a stark warning to the small minority who look to cut corners or offer a poor service to their tenants.”

In January, Terzi was fined £500 and ordered to pay £50 victim surcharge plus the council’s investigation costs of £1,000 in connection with the illegal eviction.

Landlords are required to give tenants the correct form of notice if they intend to end a rental contract. They can only evict tenants who have assured shorthold tenancies, the most common type of tenancy, with permission from the courts.

The council is now seeking to add the landlord’s name to the national database of rogue landlords and property agents, which notifies other local authorities of landlords and letting agents who have committed housing offences.