A West Hartford man who receives rental assistance from the state was convicted Tuesday of one felony count of criminal property damage to a rental home.
Chad Anderson was sentenced to two years jail time, which was suspended. One of the conditions of his probation is paying back both landlords who accused Anderson and his wife of trashing their properties.
Chad and Jessica Anderson were arrested in June 2018, one month after NBC Connecticut Investigates first reported the allegations.
The criminal case against Jessica Anderson is pending.
The pair receives rental assistance through the federally-funded Shelter Plus Care program, which is administered through the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). A DMHAS spokesperson declined to comment on the guilty verdict. It is not clear if the family is still receiving aid.
Although DMHAS finds and pays for housing for its clients, the agency says it is the landlord’s responsibility to conduct background checks on any prospective tenants. A spokesperson previously told NBC Connecticut Investigates the leases are between the landlord and tenant, and any disputes should be handled in court.
Laura Guilmartin said she agreed to rent to the Andersons on the assumption that DMHAS would vouch for them.
“I never imagined that the state would allow them to destroy my home,” Guilmartin told NBC Connecticut last year.
DMHAS paid Guilmartin $2,000 for damages, the maximum allowed under the rules of the Shelter Plus Care program. Guilmartin also kept the $2,000 security deposit. She estimates she spent more than $20,000 on repairs.
Last September, the Andersons were charged in connection with damages to a second rental property in West Hartford.
At the time, the couple told NBC Connecticut Investigates they were not allowed back into Guilmartin’s home to clean it or remove their belongings. They also said they were kicked out of the second property because Guilmartin tracked down their landlord and told him they cause trouble.
That landlord, Dritan Dalipi, told NBC Connecticut the couple violated his no pets policy and caused thousands of dollars in damage.
Although Chad Anderson was convicted solely on the charges linked to Guilmartin’s case, he was ordered to pay restitution to both Guilmartin and Dalipi. An exact amount and payment schedule has not been determined.
Anderson and his attorney declined to comment on the guilty verdict.