A private landlord has been fined for illegally evicting his tenant by changing the locks while he was out the house.
Trevor Bell had been served a section 8 notice - the first step in proceedings to bring a tenancy to an end.
However, he failed to issue possession proceedings or secure any order of the court.
South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court heard Northumberland County Council’s private sector housing team advised Bell it would be unlawful to evict the tenant without a court order.
But in February 2018, the landlord changed the locks to the property while the tenant was out.
Once the council became aware of the matter it was passed to the local authority’s corporate fraud team to investigate.
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