21 May 2019

A BTL landlord who lost his cool during a heated exchange with a tenant over unpaid rent has been ordered to be of good behaviour for the next nine months at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Steven Melville, 53, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing and struggling with his tenant, William Harley, during the incident in Hawick, Scotland, in February last year.

The court heard that Harley was taking his car out of the garage when Melville appeared asking where his rent money was.

A fight broke out between the pair and the incident was reported to the police.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said his client was owed £700 in unpaid rent by the tenant.

He said: “Even when he [the landlord] stumbled across him [the tenant] he dismissed him even though he said please to begin with.

“When the complainer replied he couldn’t pay him a struggle developed.

“The complainer put his hands on him and he pushed his hands away. It was a very minor struggle.”

The tenant has now moved out of the rented property but apparently left the flat in a state of disrepair, while the landlord had to write off £1,000 in unpaid rent.

Sheriff Mungo Povey commented: “I have listened to what has been said on your behalf and I am prepared to defer sentence for nine months for good behaviour.”

The Sherriff added that if Melville was of good behaviour then he would be admonished when the case recalls on 3 February 2020.

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