Glasgow tenant 'first' to claim back thousands of pounds after being unlawfully evicted

A Scottish tenant has won £18,000 in what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind tribunal decision under the new Scottish lettings legislation.

Mr Dambaru Baral was wrongly evicted from a flat in Glasgow

Dambaru Baral was given the sum of money by the First-tier Tribunal from Scotland Housing and Property Chamber after it was found he was unlawfully evicted back in 2015.

He raised the case in September 2018 against his landlords Mohammed and Khalda Arif who removed him from his occupancy in Elizabeth Street under an assured tenancy.

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A representative of the landlords entered the property, removed the tenant’s belongings and changed the locks due to the tenant being in rent arrears, according to the Housing and Property Chambers report.

Yet the document highlighted: "At that time, no formal steps had been taken by the respondents, or on their behalf, to end the tenancy contract between the parties, or to initiate proceedings for recovery of possession."

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The Tribunal rejected this defence, stating: “Mr Arif and Mr Bhatti accepted that they had gone to the flat and filled a number of cardboard boxes with the applicant’s belongings.

“The record taken by City Building, as indicated at paragraph 30 above, was that there were seven boxes. It is also apparent, from the photographs taken by the applicant, that there were items on top of the boxes.

“On any reasonable view, the sheer volume of the applicant’s belongings at the tenancy were not such as to indicate that he had ceased occupation.”

The Tribunal concluded that an unlawful eviction had taken place and awarded damages of £18,000 based on a surveyor’s reports.