Tenant from hell’ evicted after causing £25,000 in damage




The property on Dulverton Close in Hull, East Yorkshire, was found in a ‘disgusting’ condition by its landlord, with holes in the walls, smashed windows and ripped up floorboards.

Interior pictures show radiators ripped from walls lying on top of mounds of rubbish, debris on the smashed hob and the bathroom covered in filth.

Landlord Phil Withnall, who owns P&J Properties, said he’d been letting for 25 years but had ‘nothing like this’.

He put the estimated cost of having to repair the damage done by mum-of-five Katie Bentley at £25,000.

Mr Withnall said she allowed the home to be infiltrated by squatters and claims she did not pay rent for the last six months she was living there.He said he had even offered Miss Bentley £500 to leave and changed the locks multiple times.

However, Miss Bentley said she was being beaten in her own home by ‘smackheads’ who broke in when she spent a week in prison in October last year.

Speaking in January this year, Miss Bentley said: ‘While I was in prison my windows got smashed by smackheads.

‘All the loud noises the neighbours hear is me getting beaten up. It’s me shouting for help.

‘I’ve not been staying at this house. I’ve been staying anywhere I can because I’ve been too scared to go back to the house.

‘People go round and let themselves in because the landlord won’t secure the locks. They climb in and out and they have nicked all my baby’s toys.’

Yesterday, Mr Withnall was finally able to discover the true extent of the damage caused to the home after fast-tracking Miss Bentley’s eviction.

After securing an eviction notice through the county court, Mr Withnall went to the High Court to apply for private bailiffs to speed up the process.

At 3.30pm on Friday the bailiffs arrived at the house, supported by officers from Humberside Police, to find the house empty aside from the mess.

Mr Withnall has now changed the locks. If Miss Bentley returns to the property it will be considered a criminal offence.The landlord said he has tried to enter the property prior to February 27 but said his key would not fit in the lock.

He said he arrived at the house with bailiffs and the officers, and although he understood the house would have been left a mess, nothing prepared him from the sight of what awaited him.

Mr Withnall said: ‘I knew it was going to be bad, but it was worse than I imagined.

We had a look in the windows but obviously couldn’t see what was upstairs or anything. The place is horrendous.

‘There are copper pipes and the central heating boiler missing, the taps were left on, the floorboards had been ripped up. She wasn’t there.

She started out as a mum-of-five living there. I’ve been renting out for 25 years and have had nothing like this.’

Mr Withnall said he will have to cover the cost of the damage with his insurance.

He believes it will take around two months to get the house back in order.

Mr Withnall said: ‘The insurance company have already taken statements before today and they knew what was happening.

‘An assessor will come next week and assess the damage and we will get quotations to start turning it around.’

While all of this is taking place, Mr Withnall is still losing money.

He claimed Miss Bentley had not paid rent for six months prior to her eviction, but he is glad she is now gone for the neighbours’ sake.

Mr Withnall said: ‘She was a nightmare tenant and a nightmare neighbour. I am pleased for all the neighbours this has come to an end, and they are pleased for me.‘It is just one of those things. She went for two years and there wasn’t a problem but you’ve got to be careful.’