A LANDLORD has been prosecuted after ripping out a tenant's toilet and sink in a "moment of madness".

Flintshire Council’s environmental health officers have prosecuted a Flintshire private sector landlord for unlawfully evicting and harassing a tenant living in a private rented property.

The landlord’s acts had included the removal of the toilet, sink and other fittings from the bathroom. 

The Leader: Flintshire CouncilFlintshire Council (Image: Flintshire Council)

Terrence Kermode, of Wood Lane, Hawarden, pleaded guilty at Mold Magistrates Court to the offence of unlawful eviction and harassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and the matter was adjourned to a sentencing hearing.

At the sentencing hearing on Thursday, September 15 it was offered in mitigation that Mr Kermode was 76, had no prior convictions and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. 

It was heard that Mr Kermode was allowing his daughter to take over the business and that Mr Kermode had ripped out the bathroom in a “moment of madness” in the knowledge that there was rent and bills outstanding.

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The magistrates remarked that Mr Kermode’s behaviour was “outrageous” and that he had essentially broken into someone’s home, and removed belongings and a bathroom, which was completely unacceptable for anyone, especially a landlord of 30 years.

In accordance with the pre-sentencing report, magistrates handed down a financial penalty (Band D fine of £1,000), a court surcharge (£100) and awarded Flintshire Council's full costs (£2,623.14). Mr Kermode has 28 days to pay. 

Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for planning, public health and public protection, Councillor Christopher Bithell, 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 County 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.”