Four people found guilty of harassing and conspiring to illegally evict tenants

Athelstan Road

Four defendants have been found guilty on a total of 28 charges of conspiring to unlawfully evict and harassing tenants.

The jury reached the verdicts yesterday (July 19) in a case at Canterbury Crown Court which was prosecuted by Thanet District Council.

The defendants were involved in managing rented flats in Athelstan Road, Margate.

Sohila Tamiz, of Flint Lane, Lenham, was found guilty on five counts of conspiring to unlawfully evict a tenant, eight counts of conspiring to, or interfering with, the peace or comfort of a residential occupier, and one count of conspiring to burgle.

Pedram Tamiz, of Flint Lane, Lenham, was found guilty of two counts of conspiring to unlawfully evict a tenant, and five counts of conspiring to, or interfering with, the peace or comfort of a residential occupier.

Adam McChesney, of Gloucester Avenue, Margate, was found guilty of two counts of conspiring to unlawfully evict a tenant, and three counts of conspiring to interfere with the peace or comfort of a residential occupier.

Kasem El Darrat, Athelstan Road, Margate, was found guilty of one count of conspiring to unlawfully evict a tenant, and one count of conspiring to interfere with the peace or comfort of a residential occupier.

Council officers began investigating after a series of allegations involving criminal activity in the management of a building containing 26 flats in Athelstan Road.

Lawful tenants were routinely threatened and evicted without notice; locks were changed and some tenants’ belongings were removed or thrown onto the street. In one case, a tenant was doused in petrol and punched causing the loss of several teeth. The allegations shared with council officers were the most harrowing heard in any investigation relating to tenancy management.

The unlawful actions of the defendants resulted in the council incurring significant costs in rehousing those tenants who had been systematically thrown out of their properties and suffered violence or threats of violence.

Legal proceedings against Sohila Tamiz began in relation to a single incident of unlawful eviction. Following Ms Tamiz’s election of a trial in Crown Court, the council instructed Michael Polak, a barrister specialising in unlawful evictions, and junior barrister, Llewellyn Culver-Evans, to review the case and prepare it for trial.

Further investigations revealed evidence of other unlawful evictions and harassment against vulnerable tenants. Additional charges were added to the indictment, as were three more defendants: Sohila’s son Pedram, and Adam McChesney and Kasem Al Darratt who worked for the Tamiz’s as an enforcer and agent respectively.

The case was presented to the jury over four weeks following which they returned unanimous verdicts on 28 counts on the indictment.

Cllr Jill Bayford, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is a landmark prosecution for us, and underpins our key priority of ensuring the ongoing safety of all of our residents.

“We hope that this outcome sends out the serious message to other landlords in the district and further afield that criminal activity, or any intimidatory or threatening behaviour towards tenants, will not be tolerated, but will instead be routinely prosecuted.”

The council will now begin the process of gathering victim impact statements ahead of sentencing, which is due to take place on Monday 10 October.

The council believes this case to be the largest ever prosecution of its type for offences under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.


  1. The full details here are horrific.

    They should have all their properties removed from them, sold and the proceeds given to the victims, they should be barred from both letting properties in the future and owning their own home and be forced themselves to live their lives out at tenants and see how they fare.

    The ring leader and anyone that was involved in physical or mental torture should be facing custodial sentences.

    All should also be put on courses to understand how to treat other humans.

    Rich landlord/ladies alwsys get lenient sentences for appalling behaviour and we need to crack down on this.

  2. How was this allowed to go on from 2007-2021 as stated by other news websites? Why did it take nearly 15 years for the police & TDC to solve it?

  3. If it was ongoing 2007-2021 this covers the whole of the period selective licensing was in place and a 4 years before, how on earth was a licence issued for the properties involved?

    • And as such the council could have refused to licence properties in which they had an interest,(thus negating the need for the tenants to complain) as a result they’d have been empty for 10 years or more likely put up for sale to someone who would run them better.

  4. Anyone who worked at TDC in Benefits or Housing during this time knows only too well what a revolting pieces of work the Tamiz family are. But, because TDC, like most local authorities, is entirely dependent on the private rental sector to meet the district’s housing needs, they allow this sort of practice to go on. I’m not talking about the officers here who, in my experience, do a damn good job. I’m talking about senior management and elected members, for whom it is beneficial to keep quiet and allow these criminals to get away with keeping people in conditions that wouldn’t be out of place in a ghetto.

    There are other landlords locally who are every bit as bad, so don’t think for a moment this is an isolated incident. The things I’ve seen would make you weep.

    • That’s all very well and no doubt true, but makes an absolute mockery of the 10 years of selective licensing where the decent landlords effectively subsidised the councils (pretty ineffective it now seems) attempts to ensure landlords were fit and proper to be so. Whats the point the council gobbing off about poor landlords when it takes them 15 years to deal with known criminals and if your assertions are correct ( which i don’t doubt given the state of some of the isles rented property) effectively allowing them to continue operating.

      • It’s smoke and mirrors, in short. The council, like all councils, knows this is happening on an industrial scale. They just don’t want to do anything about it, because they have absolutely no alternative arrangements in place, and couldn’t cope with the number of homeless families tackling this issue would result in. So, to maintain the status quo, they turn a blind eye, occassionally throwing out a few crumbs to the media (like this) when necessary.

        Right to Buy and lack of investment in social housing are two of the big contributing factors in this disastrous situation. Social housing has been run into the ground.

        • Well, if TDC are happy to turn a blind eye to 10 masked guys rocking up, pouring petrol on somebody & then proceeding to knock their teeth out it doesn’t say much about their moral compass or that of the police does it?

          We aren’t talking about landlords not fixing leaky roofs etc here, we are talking about GBH, threats of violence, intimidation, destruction of property, theft etc for over a decade, with the council & it appears the cops turning a blind eye.

          • About time, well done to the residents association who have raised concerns about rogue and criminal landlords in the area for years

          • Barry would that include TDC’s record in respect of gas safety certs in the mot so distant past.
            But what is the point of all the hot air and rhetoric if all that happens is every landlord being penalised ( selective licensing) to make it look as though something is being done , when as this case shows it had no effect on the criminal element.

          • And yet where a building has been split into flats and sold off on leaseholds if the freeholder disapears, the council will do nothing about the state of the roof , common areas etc if problems arise. And the leaseholders remain in the clear, a gaping hole in legislative powers and or council willingness to act.

          • Steve, tdc dodge their statutory duties under HHSRS ( housing health and safety rating system) by claiming they don’t have the resources to do the assessment and so with no Class 1 hazard formally found they can pretend it was never there. There was a building in St.Johns road which was the source of endless trouble and in appalling condition that TDC ignored until there was an attempted firebombing at the property. The police to give them credit were there time again but they can only arrest and ask for charges to be pressed, its then down to the cps.

  5. Lc.agreed rogue landlords should be disqualified from owning properties and their assets seized like other criminals.

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