Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Peaceful ending to drama after UK tenant threatens suicide

Feb 03. 2019
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By The Nation

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A 51-year-old British man allegedly threatened to jump from his room on the ninth floor of a Phuket building on Saturday afternoon following a dispute over rent with his landlord before provincial officials intervened to resolve the situation.

After talks with Britain’s honorary consul general in Phuket did not lead to the tenant leaving his room, Phuket Governor Pakapong Thawipat reportedly urged the landlord to allow the foreigner to have water and electricity supply and stay in the room until February 21 when his visa expired and he would return to his home country.

Police were alerted on Saturday afternoon by condominium personnel that a foreign tenant was threatening to commit suicide by jumping from his 9th floor apartment. Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene and set up a rescue air cushion while two lift trucks were on stand-by. 

A police source explained the man had signed a six-month rent contract for the room in October last year but had reportedly failed to pay the Bt8,000 rent for January. The landlord had hence cancelled the contract and asked him to move out but he refused and locked himself in. The landlord filed a complaint at the Muang Phuket Police Station and cut the man’s water and electricity supply, while the tenant sent an email to the British Embassy, claiming he had been illegally detained there.

Provincial deputy governor Thanyawat Chanpanich, who joined talks at the scene, said the case stemmed from a misunderstanding: the Briton had reportedly paid two month’ rent in advance and believed he did not have to pay the rent for the last two months before his return to the UK. So officials negotiated on his behalf with the landlord to restore electricity and water supply and let him stay until the end of the contract, he added.

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