BINDESH Badiani whose house was torched when his tenant set fire to a mattress after taking a legal high, has said he has been left homeless and broke.
Bindesh, 46, was at home in Cambria Place on January 20, 2012 when a tenant of six months, David Nurdin, torched his bedroom as he thought people were coming through the floorboards to get him.
He had taken Eric 3, a plant food, which sent him into a panic, and to ward off his imaginary attackers he started the fire and rushed into the bedroom of his live-in landlord.
“I was asleep in my bed at the time,” said Bindesh. “I woke up and the fire alarm was going.
“I went straight for my clothes, to find out what was going on. At that point David started banging on my door saying there was a fire. He barged his way in and barricaded himself behind my door.
“I had to jump out of the bedroom window to escape the fire, because the smoke was so thick I could not breath.
“He was ingesting plant food, because he was on £20 a week he did not have money for anything else.”
The repair bill has forced Bindesh to sell off his assets, including another rental property, and he has been staying with family after his house was destroyed.
“I have had to sell my other property because of the fire, as well as my car and cashing in a lot of shares,” he said.
“All of the house was destroyed. Water damage spread throughout the place after the fire was put out, and the whole of the upstairs was damaged by fire. It had set light to the ceiling and there was structural damage.
“All the furniture was ruined by the smoke, because it was so thick you could not see or breathe.
“I have lost all my rental income from this property and I have become homeless.
“The other house I rent out is to a whole family in Haydon Wick, and I am having to sell up that one now to make ends meet.
“The house is still not up to scratch, and it will probably take another £5,000 or £6,000 before it is sorted.
“The house was bringing in around £900 a month, so I have lost that source of income.
“The council said it would not be allowed to be uninhabitable for more than a year. This is the second year now, and I am just about to get my TV back. I am struggling all round.
“I have had to stay with my family, and thank God for them.
“I am staying in the old house a few nights a week because I do not want it getting broken into.”
Bindesh said the event came as a shock after Nurdin, who was jailed for two years and three months for the offence in 2012, had been a flawless tenant.
“David was referred to me by one of his friends who was living there at the time,” he said.
“I applied to the council for the rent payments, and they cleared him to stay as a tenant.
“He moved in six months prior to the incident.
“He was a perfect tenant, and was one of the only ones who helped out around the house.”
Bindesh was unable to claim insurance costs for the damage wreaked on his property from Towergate Insurance, whose landlord policy states: “Significant and unusual exclusions or limitations include theft or malicious damage caused by you, members of your household, paying guests or tenants.”
The Adver attempted to contact Towergate but was unable to get a response before going to press.