A man was fined for illegally changing the locks on a house rented by a family with two young children.
Belfast landlord Ciaran Doherty was fined £500 in court on Tuesday for unlawfully depriving the family of occupation of a house they were renting from him.
Both the couple’s children were under two years old at the time of the incident in April last year.
The offence was prosecuted as it was contrary to Article 54(1) of the Rent (NI) Order 1978, as amended by the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006.
Mr Doherty was also ordered to pay a £15 offender levy, £200 in legal costs and £17 in court costs, after a successful prosecution by Belfast City Council.
Councillor Daniel Baker said,
“I’m shocked. No one anywhere should be locked out of their home. There is a housing crisis in west Belfast. More social and affordable homes are desperately needed.
“Landlords should be registered and regulated by Belfast city council and greater enforcement powers granted.”