How can the police decide it’s not criminal?

How can the police decide it’s not criminal?

16:06 PM, 14th July 2022, About 2 years ago 18

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Hello everyone, I have had a story of one of my trashed properties make it into the Salisbury Journal >>

“A Wiltshire landlord paid out £30k in repairs following fears her nightmare tenant would “blow up the house”.

“Kathy has been a landlord for more than 30 years, but says the tenant she dealt with last year was the worst she has ever encountered.

“Wiltshire Police classified the incident as a civil complaint after deciding there – wasn’t enough evidence for a realistic criminal conviction.”

Please can I can share it with Property118 readers and ask that fellow landlords also share their stories in the comments below.

I also want to highlight the question: How can the police decide this is not criminal?

Many thanks


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18:57 PM, 14th July 2022, About 2 years ago

It's not criminal because there is a contract in place, so say my local police. They are wrong but this is a tle perpetuated all over the country. One only has to read the first page of the Criminal Damage Act to appreciate the situation.

The police may not have enough evidence to prosecute but there is absolutely no doubt the the incident should be recorded as a crime. This of course the police are reluctant to do as it messes up their clear up statistics.

There is a 118 blog on this point


9:04 AM, 15th July 2022, About 2 years ago

It is criminal, but the police are not prosecuting for "lack of evidence". The police need two bits of independent evidence to be in with a chance of a successful prosecution, otherwise it becomes your word against their word.

loretta wight

9:05 AM, 15th July 2022, About 2 years ago

the police said the same to me . After one of their officers became abusive to me I contact the complaints procedure. My complaint against the officer and the tenant was upheld. They pandered to me there after ...I had a witness to the tenant shouting and breaking the windows , hearing smashing of kitchen units etc Got an apology then it went to court ...He was fined £200 for over £5000 damage. It took about a year to get him evicted . However, someone took the law into their own hands ie fed up with him , broke into the flat , ( which the police invoiced me for joiner to fix,) and battered him , breaking his arm. Some would say this is karma. It is a criminal offence here in Scotland but needs to be challenged as the police don't know or don't care .

Peter Poupard

16:05 PM, 15th July 2022, About 2 years ago

It is incorrect to say this is not a crime, however the police are constrained by the CPS and the likelyhood of a successful prosecution and subsequent conviction. One needs to remember in the criminal court guilt needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. All the tenant needs to say is "I had a party which got out of hand and the guy I owe a lot of money to wrecked the place as a message." (and he doesn't mean he owes money to his landlord.)
The civil courts however work on probability which has a much lower threshold. So you could go down that route, but unless they tenant is working and one can obtain an attachment of earnings or has assets worth go for via the courts and bailiffs you will be throwing good money after bad. I don't know of any way of getting money back from the sort of tenant described here that is legal. I don't even know if one can get insurance to cover such a situation, perhaps other readers can give guidance on such cover.
I don't want to add insult to injury but cases like this prove the need for comprehensive vetting of new tenants.

Anne Nixon

16:58 PM, 15th July 2022, About 2 years ago

I had a non paying HMO tenant abandon his tenancy during the daytime when the house was empty, and taking the new TV out of his room.
I reported it to the police who asked if I saw him take it.
I explained no I was not there but the door has only two keys, his and mine.
They said unless I actually saw him take it there is no proof it was him.
I showed them the TVs box with the serial number on it which they could have matched up with the item but they were not interested/couldn't be bothered.

LordOf TheManor

9:37 AM, 16th July 2022, About 2 years ago


I experienced a similar situation in 2019 so I know there won't be any real justice for you right now. It makes no sense but that's how it is.

These wrong'uns reappear down the track of time so don't give up. I haven't. I've recently had really useful advice from Charles Stevens at Shergroup who followed up on a posting I made on this site a fews back - so I'd highly recommend getting in touch with them.



10:06 AM, 16th July 2022, About 2 years ago

Not criminal, if the photographof the "removed outside electrical unit" is referring to the meter, the electricity supplier may well have a statutory case for prosecution.


0:51 AM, 17th July 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 16/07/2022 - 09:37
Thanks for mentioning me Lord. I am pleased you are happy with the advice I gave and I am sure you will get somewhere with my colleague.

Kathy, sorry to hear about your issues. Drop me a message we can have a chat whenever you are free. I am sure I will be able to help.



Bristol Landlord

18:13 PM, 20th July 2022, About 2 years ago

Dear Kathy,
I’m really sorry to read about what happened to your place. The level of destruction is incomprehensible. I can’t even imagine how stressful this must have been for you. Although it seems the tenant did this out of personal animosity towards yourself I do think he must also be seriously mentally ill.
I am intending to write to my MP with my views on the ongoing War on Landlords, effectively also a war on Tenants, and the intended and deliberate destruction of the PRS BTL sector to help set up the corporate BTR sector with thousands of desperate customers.
One thing I want to highlight is that the Govt and mainstream media can only talk about “Rogue” landlords but refuse to even acknowledge the existence of Criminal Tenants such as you had.
Also that if landlords make a mistake on the paperwork, which often does not actually harm a tenant, they can receive Rent Repayment Orders and other penalties in the thousands but a criminal tenant can cause 30k of damage to a landlords property and receive no penalty at all as the Police refuse to be interested. I would like to use you case as an example and forward the media link to my MP.
Does anyone else have other documented, with perhaps media links, of cases of extreme vandalism which I can send also?
I think it would be worth setting up a database of such criminal acts against landlords. Really the NRLA should be already doing this.


15:04 PM, 23rd July 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 15/07/2022 - 09:04

They had the neighbours evidence and he was at the time the only person there.

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