Controversial landlord Fergus Wilson has launched an appeal against a county court decision to award former tenants compensation following a row over a damp house.
Wilson claims that the court judge made a legal error when he threw out a case against Attila Lant and his partner Eva Nemeth, who he believed caused damage to a property in Wood Lane the Park Farm estate in Ashford, which is actually owned by his wife Judith Wilson, and ordered her to pay up instead.
Deputy district judge Adams was told the couple reported a leaking hot water cylinder in May last year which caused extreme damp conditions, including sodden carpets and a partial collapse of the kitchen ceiling. But after inspection of the property, Fergus Wilson, who earlier this month sold almost half of his entire portfolio of around 900 residential properties, alleged the tenants were legally responsible for the damage.
But after they failed to carry out the repairs, he terminated their tenancy agreement and attempted to sue the pair for £4,000.
After hearing from both parties and a number of witnesses, deputy district judge Adams concluded that the leak was the landlord’s responsibility to repair, especially as the tenancy agreement prohibited the tenants from attempting any repair without the landlord’s consent.
The judge heard how the Wilsons maintained a “hostile and at times offensive attitude” towards the tenants, and stated, as part of his judgement: “Mr Wilson can let his defensive instincts get the better of him and say unpleasant things.”
Lant and Nemeth were awarded £2,500 damages.
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