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A Cambridge landlord has been left out of pocket after a rogue tenant fled the property in the middle of the night, owing months worth of rent.
Landlord Llewelyn Powell has spoken out to warn landlords of what can happen if they are landed with a problem tenant. He claimed that the rogue tenant in question had stolen other tenants’ food, stolen another tenant’s mobile phone and owes the landlord £1,000 in rent.
Mr Powell had purchased and renovated the Primrose Hill property last year. He had rented several of the 15 rooms in a three-storey building to homeless and vulnerable people. The problem tenant was claiming Universal Credit. This meant that the tenant received payments intended for his rent, however he failed to pay these on to Mr Powell. The tenant begged for several loans from him and the other tenants, despite bragging about the fact that he lived ‘rent free’ as he had no intention of paying.
Mr Powell said: ‘I am the biggest mug ever. But he will not get away with it. I will take him to court to recover the money. I have emails and texts from him asking for money and promising to pay it back. The first time he asked I thought he was a genuine case and he was trying to sort out a job. I gave him £35 and didn’t see it back. He still kept asking me for more. Then he started being a pest to the other tenants, borrowing money and stealing their food. These are people that don’t have a lot. They couldn’t afford to replace it. They would hide in their rooms to avoid him.’
As the rental arrears escalated, Mr Powell thought it best to ask for direct payments to cover the monthly £300 fee.
He continued: ‘He told me that if I served notice on him he could live rent-free for three months and would pocket the rent money. I asked him to use the money to pay the rent, otherwise it was fraud. I warned him; he didn’t care. He has been telling people for the past month that he is going to do a runner with the money. He is an absolute scrounger and he has been spinning me lies. I think I am the latest person to fall for it and I am seething. I do things by the book so I will be taking him to court.’