Grandad causes £4,000 damage

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LANDLORDS have hit out after a tenant badly damaged their property and police were unable to take action.

Husband and wife John and Susan Hartley, who run small Sheffield-based firm Orchid Property Management, say a house was ransacked by a man they were forced to evict.

Blinds were pulled down, radiators, pipes and light fittings were broken just before the resident was due to move out of the house on Waletheof Road, Manor.

Urine and excrement were left on the walls and floors and furniture stolen – but police said it was a civil, not criminal, case.

The pair say they went to special effort to help the former tenant, a grandfather in his 50s, when he began struggling to find work and were forced to get a solicitor involved in January.

Mrs Hartley, 58, said: “Most of my tenants are decent, lovely people, but if some one decides to do what this man has done there is very little recompense.

“My husband and I set up this business together for our pension. We’re going to have no income for two or three months while we get the house cleaned up, not to mention the loss in rent. It’s going to cost us about £4,000 to sort out.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Officers investigated the incident and sought further guidance and clarification from the force’s legal department. However after examining the tenancy agreement between the landlord and tenant, and the circumstances surrounding the incident, it is deemed as a civil matter and not criminal. “

Chris Bryan, regional spokesman for the National Landlord Association, said: “This is intentional criminal damage. There should be legislation which makes it possible for landlords to be recompensed. Bad tenants should be made to be responsible for their actions.”