Tenant burns down rental on eviction day
A South Australian man burnt down his rental home on the day he was due to vacate, leaving his landlord $77,000 out-of-pocket, a court has heard.
Mitchell Tyler Flamank and another person were renting a home at Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide, when he set fire to the property early on the morning of January 6, 2020.
About three weeks earlier, the pair had been served with a notice to vacate the property by that day due to unpaid rent and "other tenancy issues".
Sentencing Flamank in the District Court this week, Judge Joanne Tracey said the fire started on a mattress in his bedroom.
"The damage you caused was considerable," she said in published remarks.
"Your offending was very dangerous and serious."
The house was gutted in the fire, and the roof partially collapsed.
A nine-kilogram gas bottle, lighter fluid and pressurised canisters were found among the debris.
Judge Tracey said the property was insured but the owner said the cost of a full rebuild and replacement still left her $77,000 out of pocket.
After pleading guilty to arson, Flamank was handed a sentence of 2 years, 1 month, with a non-parole period of 12 months.
The judge accepted he was struggling with mental health issues at the time of the offending.
She did not order him to pay back the money because he has no assets and no real prospect of repayment.
Originally published as Tenant burns down rental on eviction day