A LANDLORD left homeless by a squatter has won his battle to reclaim his property.

William Elliot was forced to live in a caravan in West Kilbride for months after his tenant stopped paying rent and refused to leave his home in Allanton Park Terrace.

William, who is recovering from a cancer battle, was fearful that he may have been forced to wait six months to get his home back due to a huge backlog in cases caused by a change in tax laws affecting second properties.

The stand off resulted in William being left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

He said: "It's a huge relief and has been quite an ordeal over recent months. I would like to thank the Largs and Millport Weekly News for their help highlighting my plight.

"I received my keys back last week after they were posted through the letterbox of my agents Ayrshire Lettings in West Kilbride.

"My letting agent opened the office one morning and the keys were sitting in the floor.

"The house has been left in a bit of a mess but I am just thrilled to have it back.

"Thankfully a tribunal found in my favour although the tenant just walked away and didn't settle council tax or utility bills, so I still have to deal with all of that.

"It is difficult to know what this person would have gained from the whole episode, other than getting himself to the top of the world's worst tenant list." William believes that his case should be a warning to others.

He says: "The law protects the tenants but means that landlords like myself can be left thousands of pounds out of pocket. The whole situation has turned around 180 degrees.

"The sad thing about it all was that it was all perfectly legal what the tenant did, so the law needs to be changed."

The tenant had stopped paying rent in December which meant that William, who had sold his family home in West Kilbride, had no choice but to stay in a caravan and Air BnBs.

William and his wife Karen say they are relived to be back home at last but he has written off the lost cash.

Kathleen McCallum, of Ayrshire Lettings, told the News: "My staff fully prepared all the paperwork for the housing property chamber and it was accurately submitted in January.

"The issue for Mr Elliot, even though he had made his tenant aware with the 84 days notice, is that the sale of his own house was concluded in January, meaning that he has been made involuntarily homeless because his tenant is refusing to move out."

The Housing and Property Chamber was formed as a result of new legislation on 1 January this year,

Ms McCallum said: "There is an issue as the delays become longer and longer and there is going to be more landlords putting their property on to the market because of the tax situation.

"The issue allegedly makes the process easier for all parties, but it turns out in Mr Elliot's situation that the opposite is the case.

"The system is not fit for purpose."