Tenant mugs his landlord over deposit dispute

Going through a deposit dispute process is never a fun time, least of all when it culminates in your tenant mugging you for your wallet!

A landlord in Country Durham is likely to be wishing his tenant had stuck to the more traditional method of dispute resolution, after the tenant was charged with robbery – believing that his actions were justified as he was owed money from his deposit.

The tenant believed he was owed some of his deposit back, so provided no evidence and offered a ‘not guilty’ plea to Durham Crown Court. This was not accepted however, and the Judge advised the tenant that he had ‘gone the wrong way about retrieving the money.’ He later admitted new charges or common assault and theft.

The court heard how the tenant, Mr Bulman, and his girlfriend rented two properties from the landlord. At 4.40pm in the day in question Bulman saw the landlord on his driveway. Bulman approached the landlord and dragged him to the ground, upon which tow £20 notes fell from his pocket.

Bulman then removed the landlord’s wallet, and threatened to ‘cut his throat if he grassed’. Bulman was later arrested elsewhere in the area, and the money was recovered.

Upon hearing the case, having noted that the dependent had a 'quite extensive' list of previous offences, Judge Christopher Prince imposed a one-year community order, with ten days rehabilitation work with The Probation Service

There are ways to deal with these matters, when you’re owed money back from your deposit. I’m sure you (Mr Bulman) genuinely felt he had money in his pocket from your partner. You took exactly the wrong course and you must come to realise you must not do that again.

Judge Christopher Prince

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