Tenant Stole Dishwasher and Flooded Flat

A North East landlord suffered thousands of pounds worth of damage to his flat when his tenant stole the dishwasher, leaving water leaking which flooded the flat and caused damage to the flat below.

Vincent Baldwin, 31, who rented the flat in Lofthill, Doxford Park, Sunderland also stole several door handles and a fridge freezer from the flat, magistrates were told.

Baldwin left the property last November; he walked away with doors unlocked and water cascading from pipes onto the floor.

Prosecuting, Sue Baker told the court that Baldwin had rented the flat for six months from the Sunderland landlord Andrew Mercer, who, as it happens, also owns the flat below.

Prosecutor Baker said Mr Mercer, who now lives at Whinlaw, Beacon Lough, Gateshead, asked his mother to go and check on the property on November 21, after a phone call from the downstairs tenant. She is said to have found the dishwasher unplugged and in the lounge. When she returned the next day, the dishwasher had gone and the kitchen floor was covered in water.

Several door handles were missing and a fridge freezer, all worth a total of £698.99.

Baker said the exact cost of repairing the damage had not yet been ascertained, but said it was around £2,000.

Baldwin was later arrested and told police he thought the items did not belong to the landlord but had been left behind by a previous tenant and he had taken them to give to his girlfriend. He admitted theft and two counts of failure to surrender to bail.

Baldwin denied criminal damage, but was found guilty after the trial. A probation report said Baldwin had a heroin problem at the time of the offences. District Judge David Purcell sentenced Baldwin to a 12-month supervision order. He is also be subject to a two-month curfew between 7pm and 7am, and was asked to pay £500 in compensation.

Article courtesy of LandlordZONE

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