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£14m lotto landlord loses flat deposit battle with Paisley OAP over just £180

Daily Record logoDaily Record 6 days ago Sally Hind

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited A plumber who won £14million on the lottery has lost out in a cash wrangle with an OAP – over £180.

John Doherty said he was entitled to keep part of 66-year-old Rab Smith’s deposit when he moved out of one of his properties earlier this year.

Rab and wife Jackie rented a flat from Doherty, who has become a landlord after his lottery jackpot win last year.

Doherty withheld a chunk of Rab’s deposit when he moved out, saying he had left the place in a mess.

But a four-month wrangle was settled in the OAP’s favour – and now Doherty has been forced to hand over the money to his former tenant.

Rab, of Paisley, said: “I am a pensioner and find it astonishing that this man would try to gain this financial advantage.

“We had no idea at the time this was going on that he had won all these millions.”

Rab and Jackie, 56, were living in Australia when they had to come home last year to Scotland to fix up a house in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, belonging to his mother – an Alzheimer’s sufferer who had moved to a care home.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: PA The couple stayed in the house for a few months to carry out the work and it was bought by Doherty, 53, who agreed to allow Rab and Jackie to rent the ­property from him.

Rab said: “Doherty said he was going to rent it out so I asked if we could rent it on a short-term basis until we figured out if we were going to go home to Australia or stay a little bit longer.

“He agreed so we signed a lease through a letting agent in Bridge of Weir.”

The couple paid a £750 deposit and took over the rental last October, three months after Docherty and his partner Alison won their massive lottery prize.

Docherty, of Elderslie, Renfrewshire, told at the time how he was back at work as a plumber just two days later, honouring jobs for loyal customers.

He said: “You’d be bored not working. I want to stay grounded.”

The family celebrated their £14,671,343 win with a £45 delivery of pizzas from Domino’s and Alison splashed out on a £300 designer handbag.

Rab and his wife said they were ­oblivious their landlord was a multi-millionaire. He said: “John regularly came to our door during the rental period, requesting entry to check heating systems, boilers, the cooker etc.

“He also turned up with painters and decorators to measure up for redecoration of the house prior to us leaving.

“At the end of the three-month lease, we moved out and found that he was taking £180 from us for a skip he had to hire to get rid of stuff that supposedly belonged to us.”

Doherty claimed he had to stump up for a skip to dispose of items left behind by the couple, including a broken tumble dryer, garage shelving, concrete slabs in the garden and more items in the loft.

But the couple say anything left in the house belonged to Rab’s mother and the issue should have been raised at the time of the sale of the home.

"They insisted that two skips at the house after they moved out were both seen to contain materials from the renovation of the house.

Rab said: “When he bought the house, he bought it lock, stock and barrel from my mother.

“He would’ve had the opportunity when he bought the house to do a final ­inspection and arrange with my mother’s legal ­representative if there was anything he wanted to be taken away.

“The stuff didn’t belong to us so why was he charging us as tenants?”

Rab’s deposit was held by ­Government-approved scheme My Deposits Scotland, who impartially investigate any dispute over cash between landlords and tenants.

After receiving notice of Doherty’s issue, Rab submitted his argument in writing and the remaining sum was released to the pensioner after no further action was taken by Doherty.

Paperwork from My Deposits Scotland said: “Unless the landlord can establish an entitlement to a payment from the deposit it belongs to the tenant.”

Rab said: “It has taken me four months to get £180 back.

“I wouldn’t deny the man if he was genuinely due money.

“Just because he’s a millionaire doesn’t mean money should be taken away from him, but some of the things said were not right.”

Doherty said he was right to seek payment for the skip but chose not to pursue the matter further.

He said: “I’m not going to comment on it because I’ve got photographic proof he did leave stuff. I just didn’t pursue it.”

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