A rogue managing agent who tried to force out his tenants by filling the stopcock chamber with cement so that they would have no running water, has been sentenced in court.
Gurdial Singh Bains admitted four charges relating to a home he was managing on behalf of his mother in Glebe Road, Sandy, in 2013 when he appeared at Luton Crown Court.
The 41-year-old, of Dunkerley Court, Birds Hill, Letchworth Garden City, was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence, ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community service and handed a three-month curfew from 9pm to 7am each day.
A joint investigation between Central Bedfordshire Council’s Housing Solutions and Trading Standards teams found that Bains had failed to issue a tenancy agreement to the tenants at the semi-detached house in Sandy and when he wanted them to leave he failed to give them adequate notice to vacate.
Instead, he tried to force them out by attempting to change the locks and also filling the stopcock chamber with cement so that they would have no running water, before parking his car over the water mains.
However, council officers and the water authority were able to restore the supply within 24 hours.
Bains pleaded guilty to four counts under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at Luton Crown Court last month.
His prosecution followed his mother, Jaspal Kaur Bains, being prosecuted in relation to the same property 12 months earlier.
She pleaded guilty to failing to supply the council with documents relating to the tenancies at Glebe Road, failing to issue a tenancy agreement and not giving the tenant her contact details.
She was ordered to pay a total of £4,313.24 in fines, court costs and a victim surcharge.
Councillor Carole Hegley, executive member for Social Care and Housing, said: “Cases like these can be notoriously difficult to bring to court, so I am delighted at this excellent result and that mother and son have now been brought to justice.
“Outrageous treatment of tenants like this will not be tolerated in Central Bedfordshire.
“Residents who rent privately should be able to do so with confidence and not have to worry about their own personal well-being and safety.”
“That is why we will vigorously pursue landlords and managing agents who threaten and intimidate tenants, as well as those who fail to produce the correct legal documentation.
If you are worried about harassment from a landlord or managing agent or think that you have been evicted illegally, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 300 8302.