Michael Polak of Church Court Chambers successfully privately prosecuted a landlord of a London property who had changed the locks to a rental property that was being rented to an Italian family who had travelled abroad for a short period with their children.

When the husband returned to London for work he found that he was unable to enter the property and the landlord refused to allow him to do so, threatening to call the Police if any attempt was made to enter. Further to this, the landlord also removed the family’s belongings from the property. The effect of the landlord’s unlawful actions was to break up the family as they could not afford to rent alternative accommodation for the whole family, with the wife and children having to stay in Italy.

After a full day trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court the Defendant landlord was found guilty of two offences, unlawful evictions and doing acts which disturb the quiet enjoyment of the property with intent to make the lawful occupant vacate that property. The Defendant was sentenced to a large fine, to pay compensation to the tenants, and to pay a proportion of the prosecution costs.

Michael Polak was instructed by Davide Cupertino of Consulenti Italiani, a specialist boutique Italian-UK Law firm which deals with criminal and civil matters in both jurisdictions.