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Dave Beans

Tenant Cuts Down Over 100 "for Sale" Signs, After Losing £1100 On Stained Carpet...

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1100 quid to fix a carpet...you're havin' a giraffe...

A raging tenant waged 'guerilla war' on estate agents and hacked down more than 100 For Sale signs after he lost his deposit for staining a carpet at his rented home. Anthony Bennett, 39, had blamed his former letting agents when he didn't get back his £1,100 for what he said was a minor aberration.

So over two nights, Bennett went out in his red Vauxhall van and used a Stanley knife to systematically cut down and take away dozens of estate agent signs put up outside houses and flats in his locality.

One firm lost 50 boards costing £22 each, while four other firms lost 60 signs during Bennett's bizarre dead-of-night revenge campaign.

The total damage was £2,000 before Bennett handed himself into police and revealed he had targeted six different locations.

Details of the war on the estate agents emerged as Bennett, of Heywood, near Rochdale, Greater Manchester, admitted theft and was ordered to pay a total of £500 compensation to four firms.

He was also given a three month community rehabilitation order and ordered to abide by a six-week curfew between 9.30pm-7am. His van has also been impounded. Magistrate Stephen Griffiths told Bennett: 'Estate agents might not be the most popular of people but they have lost money and you are going to have to pay them. Your caused them considerable loss.'

The incidents occurred in April after Bennett swore revenge on Mark Boulton and Co Estates Agents in Heywood after he was refused his bond back when he moved out of his flat after losing his job.

He was also aggrieved at having to pay bedroom tax on his new property and ended up targeting all estate agents in the area, Bury magistrates were told. On April 24, Keystone Letting Agency in Rochdale received a call telling them two men had been spotted cutting down their boards and stuffing them into a van.

Police were given a vehicle registration number and it matched Bennett's van. He later turned himself in and revealed the full extent of his activities. In interview Bennett said he had been kicked out of his flat rented from Mark Boulton Estates. He said he believed the agency would take a 'reasonable amount' from his bond to cover the stained carpet but he lost all the cash and became temporarily homeless. He resorted to sleeping in his van before moving to new accommodation.

Miss Shazia Aslam prosecuting added: 'He claimed the estate agents had kept his bond due to damage to the carpet and he was aggrieved by this.

'Consequently he moved to a three bedroom council flat and was later told he would have to pay bedroom tax.

'This caused him to become depressed and agitated, blaming the whole thing on the estate agents for keeping his bond and decided to get back at the estate agents and, using a Stanley knife, he targeted signs all across the Rochdale area.

'He admitted all the offences and fully admitted responsibility but said the amount of signs may have been exaggerated.'

Keystones said the theft of their advertising boards caused them 'great inconvenience' and 'stress for landlords and vendors'.

In mitigation for Bennett, defence lawyer Miss Belinda Rosenthal said: 'He said he is really sorry and is extremely remorseful. He went to the police station himself and fully admits these matters as well as giving police additional information.

'This is a most unusual case and you are not going to see him again coming before you.

'This is a man who has had emotional issues. I can only put forward that his mental state was somewhat imbalanced for such bizarre behaviour to take place.'

Bennett told the court: 'I wasn't thinking straight at all. I'm just totally embarrassed and I'm sorry about the whole thing. There wasn't any thinking in it full stop. It was twice for an hour or two.'

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He should have just taken them to the small claims court to get most of his deposit back.

Better still he should have just withheld the last months rent.

Well, it doesn't look like he was paying his own rent -

He was also aggrieved at having to pay bedroom tax on his new property

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I was planning to do similar to local letting agents chain and to hell with the consequences.

However instead I have decided not to go the non theft/destructive route. What will happen is that my own board will be stapled above there, informing every one why they shouldn't rent with them.

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Unless the letting agent can produce a suitably dated receipt of £1100 for carpet, if I was the magistrate, I would have suggested solely this be disbursed amongst affected firms and any shortfall made up by the letting agents. I don't think I'd last long as a magistrate. :lol:

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With the defence cuts, are the RAF now running from an office above a provincial estate agent?

I've had EA's fliers through my letter box...

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I notice that his deluded solicitor thinks that he is paying 'bedroom tax'

Unlike Starbucks who pay no corporation tax at all.

Clearly they run their UK operation as a kind of non profit charity- or is that bullshite?

When I see the likes of Starbucks being chased for the huge sums they 'avoid' paying I may get excited over the fact that an unemployed bloke has been allocated-by the state- a home too large for his needs.

So they choose to house him in an unsuitably large place- then he gets clobbered financially for being there? WTF? :angry:

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Poor, poor estate agent. :lol:

I'm sure the new £1100 carpet must loook amazing though, if a bit extravogant for a rental property??

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