An Umberleigh man has been convicted before the North and East Devon Magistrates’ Court of unlawful eviction following a prosecution by North Devon District Council.

On 12 April, at North and East Devon Magistrates Court, Mr Kevin John Terry Watts, having previously pleaded guilty to the offence of unlawfully evicting a residential occupier under the Protection from Eviction Act, was given a conditional discharge for 9 months and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £450.

Head of Environmental Health and Housing at North Devon Council, Jeremy Mann, says:

“This case illustrates that the council will take action against landlords who take the law into their own hands and do not adopt the proper legal processes when attempting to remove residential occupiers from their homes.”

The council’s Environmental Health Officers will investigate complaints against private landlords and mediate between the parties wherever possible. However, the council will consider bringing a prosecution where the evidence is sufficient to indicate the likelihood of a successful prosecution, and where it is in the public interest.

If you need to make a report about your landlord, please visit the North Devon Council website and complete the relevant form.