15 Aug 2022

Landlord fined £750 after Derry court hears eight men entered tenant's property and cut off water and electricity following rent difficulties

A landlord who was charged with forcing a tenant to give up their occupancy has been fined £750 at Derry Magistrate's Court sitting in Omagh. John McCartney, of Belt Road in Derry, faced one charge in breach of the Rent Order on dates between July 29 and August 9 2016. The court was told that the tenant contacted Derry and Strabane Council to report that the landlord had entered the premises on Main Street in Eglinton and removed all the external doors and cut off water and electricity. The council was told that eight men had entered the property and cut off services. The tenant replaced the doors with plastic sheeting and stayed in the property but then in early August the landlord again entered and tried to remove a cooker. McCartney was contacted and asked to attend for an interview but said that he had done nothing wrong and did not attend. Further attempts to arrange an interview failed. During the period after the initial complaint was made the injured party attempted to pay off some money that was owing. Defence barrister Stephen Mooney said that there was 'understandable distress caused' to the tenant. He said while McCartney initially said he had done nothing wrong he know accepts he had done wrong. Mr. Mooney said the tenant had been in the property since 2014 and had got into difficulties with rent. He said correspondence had been sent in regards to the arrears which amounted to some £3,500 but 'precious little had done'. Mr. Mooney said but then 'a red must descended' after a large amount of arrears had accumulated. He said McCartney accepted he had acted 'inappropriately'. Mc Cartney was fined £750.

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