Whiskey as rent payment? How one buy-to-let landlord ended up in court

A Scottish landlord has found himself in hot water after he accepted nearly £40,000 worth of stolen whiskey in place of unpaid rent.

57 bottles hidden in landlord’s loft

Kenneth McLean, 48, from Avonbridge near Falkirk, was caught with 57 bottles of rare malt whiskey hidden in his loft after police were given a tip off.

The whiskey went missing from a storage vault in Grangemouth used by drinks giant Diageo last July. Among those recovered were nine bottles of 37-year-old Port Ellen, worth almost £2,500 each, and seven bottles of Brora 1977 worth £12,250 in total.

Landlord’s plan to sell the whiskey

When McLean was arrested he initially claimed that he had bought the whiskeys, planning to keep them for 10 years then sell them on at a profit.

However, none of the bottles had been duty paid, meaning they could not legally be sold in the UK.

It later turned out that McLean had spoken to social workers who were compiling a report, telling them he had accepted the whiskey as rent and had been “wilfully blind” to the fact they were probably stolen.

McLean was ‘extremely foolish’ says lawyer

After admitting to the criminal offence of reset - the term for possession of stolen goods in Scottish law - McLean was given a community sentence and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Defending McLean was solicitor advocate Martin Morrow, who said of his client: “He acknowledges he has been extremely foolish.”

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever been offered in place of rent? Let us know in the comments.

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