harassment of occupier

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The offence of a landlord (or his agent) using or threatening violence or any other kind of pressure to obtain possession of his property from a tenant (the residential occupier) without a court order. The offence is found in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and includes interfering with the tenant's peace or comfort (or that of the tenant's household), withdrawing or not providing services normally required by the tenant (e.g. cutting off gas or electricity, even when the bills have not been paid), and preventing the tenant from exercising any of his rights or taking any legal or other action in respect of his tenancy. The Act does not apply, however, to a displaced residential owner, as opposed to a landlord (see also forcible entry). The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (s 42A) states that it is an offence to harass a person in his home. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 prohibits harassment; the offence is punishable with a jail sentence of up to five years. See also nuisance neighbours.

Subjects: Law.

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