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Landlord prosecuted for harassing tenant

15 March 2017

Another private landlord in Sheffield has been prosecuted for harassing a tenant and failing to manage his property adequately.

Mr Nilendu Das, of Carterknowle Avenue and aged 49 years old, was convicted at Sheffield’s Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 14 March. He was ordered to pay £2,412 in court costs, fines and compensation to the tenant, and was ordered to undertake 180 hours of unpaid community work.

The court heard how Mr Das bombarded his tenant with a large number of text messages which disturbed him at night and while he was working, so much so that he feared he would get the sack. On one occasion Das sent ten messages in a three minute period and on another, 15 text messages throughout the day. Some of the texts told the tenant he must leave.

As well as pleading guilty of harassment in relation to a property on Cemetery Avenue, Das also pleaded guilty to four health and safety breaches relating to a home on Sackville Road, with tenants being put at an increased risk of harm by fire. The court heard that there were damaged fire doors, an unprotected means of fire escape and faulty fire alarm systems.

Sheffield City Council’s private housing team had previous dealings with Mr Das who has earlier convictions for failing to comply with an improvement notice and failure to manage properties correctly and two previous convictions for harassment in February 2012 and August 2013. On the last occasion he received a 49 day prison sentence.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “This case is serious. The landlord has been convicted twice before for similar offences and he knows how strictly the court treats these matters.

“We don’t just investigate issues where we hear about tenants being threatened or evicted illegally. As this case shows, we also prosecute when there is lower-level harassment and when the landlord acts in a way which is outside the law.

“Everyone deserves to live in safe, good quality housing regardless of whether they rent or own their home. I am determined to carry on clamping down on the very small minority of bad landlords in Sheffield that treat their tenants badly and tarnish the private rented sector.”

The court costs and fines imposed on Mr Das on 14 March 2017 are made up of:

  • £200 for each of four health and safety breaches – totalling £800
  • £1,227 costs
  • £300 compensation to the tenant of 23 Cemetery Avenue
  • £85 victim surcharge
  • Total cost to Mr Das £2412

Support with private rented housing:

The council regulates the private rented housing market in Sheffield to make sure tenants are safe and landlords are meeting their legal responsibilities.

To report any concerns about private rented accommodation in Sheffield please contact the council’s private housing team on 0114 273 4680 or by emailing phs@sheffield.gov.uk