Unlawful Eviction – Damages Awarded Against Landlord

Simon Waterfield

The unlawful eviction case of Choudhury v Garcia is an important reminder to landlords of the potential costs of not following correct procedures when evicting a tenant, even when a possession order has been obtained.

In the case, the tenant (Garcia) had rented a room in the landlord’s property. The landlord decided that he wanted to evict the tenant, mainly because the tenant had a ground floor room and the landlord wanted this for his wife who had become ill, but also because the tenant had allowed waste to accumulate in the garden.

The landlord obtained a possession order but then evicted the tenant during a stay of execution which had been granted, which the tenant claimed was unlawful. The judge agreed, stating as the landlord should have known that the stay was in place, and ordered him to pay special damages of £2,200.

The judge assessed this as £100 for 100 days, reducing the tenant’s claim as the tenant was found partly to blame for the proceedings.

Finding that no adequate justification had been given by the landlord for the unlawful eviction, general damages of £700 and exemplary damages of £5,000 were awarded, and damages for harassment of £1,800, calculated as a reduction in rent to reflect the waste in the garden.

The landlord appealed, stating that the damages should have been lower, and the tenant appealed that they should have been higher. Both appeals were dismissed and it was held that the judge had been entitled to make these awards.

This is a complex area of law and as this case shows, making a mistake in the procedure can be costly. Nelsons provides a possession action service for rented properties located in England and Wales on a fixed fee basis.

How Nelsons Can Help

Unlawful EvictionIf you are faced with the situation or have a client who is facing such a claim then Simon Waterfield has considerable experience in the field and has successfully defended landlords facing this type of problem.

If you need advice about taking possession of your property quickly and lawfully, please contact us via our online form or call 0800 024 1976.

Contact us today

We're here to help.

Call us on 0800 024 1976

Main Contact Form

Used on contact page

  • Email us