Peterborough Councillor Gul Nawaz makes deal with tenant after "revenge evection"
Councillor Gul Nawaz makes a deal to write off costs after he evicted a tenant from his property following complaints to the council about the serious hazards there.
Councillor Gul Nawaz evicted a tenant from his property at Haddon Road, Peterborough, after she complained to the council about the serious hazards there.
After years of complaints to Gul Nawaz himself and his family (who manage the property on Cllr Nawaz's behalf), nothing had been fixed. Finally, last summer, the tenant filed a complaint with Peterborough City Council who inspected the house and directed Cllr Nawaz to act - or face enforcement action.
Cllr Nawaz later repaired some of the defects, but the council officer dealing with the case described the repairs as seeming to her to have been done "on the cheap" and "not to the standard we'd expect." Then, in December, following the final work to bring the repairs up to scratch, and just a week before Christmas, he served a section 21 eviction notice on the tenant.
A visit by a Peterborough Tenants Union (PTU) rep showed that even after the repairs, there was still mould on the living room walls and kitchen cabinets, and the replacement of the backdoor had been bodged.
The PTU negotiated with Mr Nawaz via his solicitors and brokered a deal meaning the tenant no longer has to pay the roughly £400 court costs, or two months rent arrears that she owed (as she stopped paying after recieving the eviction notice). When the PTU checked, it came to light that Mr Nawaz had not protected the tenant's damage deposit in accordance with the tenancy deposit rules and so the tenant would possibly have been able to claim up to three months rent in court.
When the PTU posted about this case on its social media accounts, it was met with a barrage of horrible accusations aimed at the tenant.
Renters deserve better than this. Living in dangerous and sub-standard accommodation causes physical and mental ill-health, which can seriously affect a person's life. All people want is a home, and landlords, in these cases, are just interested in a quick profit - even if it endangers their tenants.
Add to this, the stress of finding yourself at the heart of a social media campaign of harrasment, simply for trying to speak up and stand up for your rights, and you can see how renters have an uphill struggle.
The Peterborough Tenants Union is shining the spotlight on retaliatory evictions by naming and shaming landlords we believe to be using the practice. This is part of our ongoing campaign against bad landlords and revenge evictions.
The PTU contacted Cllr Nawaz to put these allegations to him and ask for a comment in response. He did not reply directly, however his solicitors got back to us to refute that the eviction was retaliatory (they did not give another reason), and that he was simply exercising his lawful right to evict his tenant.
A retaliatory or revenge eviction is a lawful eviction where the main reason for the eviction is because the tenant has complained about disrepair, damage, or danger. For "section 21" evictions, the landlord does not need to state a reason.
Landlords are legally required to keep their properties safe and in good working order, particularly when it comes to fire safety, electricity, and gas.
The tenant claims that Cllr Nawaz said, after the council had inspected, that she should stop complaining as it was costing him too much. The tenant also claims that Mr Nawaz's daughter said words to the effect of- you've done it now, you'll be out. We only have the tenant's word for this.