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23rd Sep 2022

Landlord breaks into tenant’s home and rips out bathroom because of owed rent

Charlie Herbert

The entire bathroom – let that sink in

A landlord has admitted to ripping out a tenant’s entire bathroom because they hadn’t paid their rent.

Terrence Kermode tore out the toilet, sink and bathroom fittings from his own rental property over the outstanding rent and bills.

Mold Magistrates Court heard that this was a ‘moment of madness’ from the 76-year-old in the knowledge there was rent and bills outstanding.

Kermode had been leasing properties for more than three decades.

Flintshire County Council’s Environmental Health Officers prosecuted the private sector landlord for unlawfully evicting and harassing a tenant living in a private rented property.

His behaviour was described as “outrageous,” and akin to breaking into someone’s home and taking their belongings, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Kermode pleaded guilty to the offence of unlawful eviction and harassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and the matter was adjourned to a sentencing hearing.

After taking into account his age, guilty plea and the fact that he had no prior convictions, Kermode was handed a £1,000 fine, a surcharge of £100, and was told to pay costs of more than £2,600 that must be paid within 28 days.

Christopher Bithell, Flintshire council’s cabinet member for planning, public health, and public protection said: “We believe everyone has the right to live in a home which is in good repair, safe, warm and secure.

“Whilst we aim to reduce the health effects of poor housing conditions through a combination of advice and financial assistance occasionally we deal with matters that are so serious a prosecution is necessary.

“This successful prosecution sends out a clear message to landlords that Flintshire council will do all it can to protect its residents from unlawful eviction and harassment.

“It reflects Flintshire’s commitment to ensuring homes in the private rented sector are properly managed and that tenants are afforded the security that they need during the current cost of living crisis.”

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