Former X Factor judge ordered to pay landlord £70,000 for ‘trashing’ rented flat
Former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos has been ordered to pay £70,000 in compensation to a landlord after leaving a north London rented flat in an “appalling” state.
Landlord Andrew Charalambous successfully sued the pop star for costs of repairs and “the loss of the replacement tenant to whom he had agreed to let the flat after she vacated it” after the formerly “pristine” Enfield property was damaged to such an extent that it was “unlettable,” the court heard.
Charalambous said the three-bedroom flat had been “in tip-top condition” when the 31-year-old N-Dubz star moved into the £3,466-a-month property in 2014.
But when she left in 2016 the property was in such a state that Charalambous claimed he could not let it out before undertaking considerable repairs. London County Court heard the fridge door has been ripped off, there were cigarette burns on the bath, stains and burns on the carpets and the bathroom sink had been smashed.
The singer’s lawyer denied any damage was caused by her “or that any damage is over and above normal wear and tear”.
Charalambous’s barrister, Max Thorowgood said: “Miss Contostavlos, who is a pop star, had a lot of parties there.”
Judge David Saunders ruled against Contostavlos and ordered her to pay her former landlord £70,832 in compensation, plus interest and the costs of the legal battle.
Contostavlos’s legal team blamed a “breakdown in communication” between the star and her solicitor while the singer was abroad, a claim dismissed by the judge.
In his closing statement, Judge Sanders said: “The suggestion that this delay was due to these reasons is weak.
“It is well established that contact can be made with individuals in this country by either mobile phone or email.
“‘It may well be that Ms Contostavlos has an agent but, even if not, being abroad is not a bar to remaining in touch with her solicitor – particularly when she is aware of the importance of this case, which involves a substantial amount of money.”
Contostavlos barrister Mark Brittain said that the star denied breaching the terms of her lease.
He said: ‘It is alleged that my client left this property in a bit of a mess, but she says she did not.
“Her defence is that she denies that any damage was caused by her or that any damage is over and above normal wear and tear.”
In a statement after the ruling, Contostavlos said her legal team would appeal.