Wednesday 7 March

A Sheffield landlord who evicted a woman who couldn’t speak fluent English from her flat above a chicken shop without any notice, forcing her to sleep on the streets, has received a suspended jail sentence, community service and heavy fine.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court  sentenced Naveed Hussain to 16 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months. Additionally the rogue landlord will be required to perform 250 hours unpaid work and attended 15 days at a rehabilitation activity requirement.

Hussain, 36, of Pitsmoor Road, was ordered to pay costs of £919 and a surcharge of £150.

The court had previously heard that it was the second time Hussain, had been prosecuted for offences of a similar nature.

Saba Habte moved into the flat on The Wicker in December 2015 on the recommendation of a fellow student in her English class.

But just over a year later, on 15 December 2106, the tenant was drinking a cup of tea in her room when Hussain appeared at the door and insisted she had to leave the property that day.

When she objected, Mr Hussain said ‘it is my house and I can do as I choose’ and took the key from the door and put it in his pocket. She suffered the indignity of losing her home and sleeping on the streets but also some of her belongings weren’t there. Salvation Army Officers who assisted her with the retrieval of her belongings described Hussain as having an attitude of contempt towards her.

Hussain was prosecuted under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing and community safety at Sheffield City Council, said: “The level of this sentencing shows just how seriously these matters are taken by the courts. Hussain has a reputation for being, simply put, a terrible landlord, who has been known to us for many years.

“We hope that this tough sentence finally acts as a deterrent to his behaviour which has, on this occasion, seen a vulnerable tenant forced on to the streets. Sheffield has a deserved reputation as a city of sanctuary and most of our landlords are responsible and put the needs of their tenants first.

“This was not the case with Hussain and we hope the severity of this sentence shows we won’t tolerate this type of criminal behaviour. The majority of landlords across the city are decent and hard-working but a few seem to have little care for the responsibilities that come with letting a property.

“We believe that unlawful eviction, the threat of unlawful eviction, and harassment or intimidation are amongst the very worst kind of rogue landlord behaviour.

“For this reason we take a very tough stance against landlords who do this and have carried out six successful prosecutions in the past year.

“We believe Sheffield’s private tenants are amongst the most-protected in the country and taking prosecutions like this are part of our commitment to making sure that high standards of accommodation and responsible management prevail in the sector.”

Private landlords or tenants wanting advice or to report problems with their housing can ring the Council’s private housing standards service on 0114 2734680, email phs@sheffield.gov.uk or visit the private housing and landlords pages of the Councils housing website www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/housing, where there is lots of useful advice and information for both private tenants and landlords.