8:58 AM, 7th July 2015, About 7 years ago 1
Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ is set to show how one rogue operator gives good letting agents a bad name. Margaret Wilson faces the agent that owes her £20,000 in a perfectly captured showdown on Wednesday 8th July at 9pm.
Margaret Wilson owns two rental properties in Oxfordshire. Two years ago she handed them over to letting agent Carl Afilaka of Christopher Stanley Lettings Ltd of Bicester, Oxfordshire. Things went well for the first year but then twelve months ago, despite the tenants regularly paying the rent to the agent, Mr Afilaka stopped paying Margaret the rent owed to her. Now Margaret is out of pocket to the tune of £20,000.
A quick view of Christopher Stanley Lettings Ltd on “All Agents” reveals that Mrs Wilson is not the first person to be defrauded by this man, with claims of deposits not registered with a tenancy deposit scheme, not returning deposits, non-payment to contractors and violent behaviour.
At her wits end, Margaret tried everything to get the agent to pay up; she contacted Trading Standards and even called the police, with no success. After months of desperate phone calls and emails to the agent without response, Margaret contacted Landlord Action’s debt recovery department. With Founder Paul Shamplina at her side ready to serve a letter before action for the outstanding monies, Margaret finally gets to confront Carl Afilaka face to face.
Mr Shamplina of Landlord Action comments: “For a number of years, our debt recovery department has been taking legal action for landlords against rogue agents that withhold rent owed to landlords for their own business and cash flow purposes. It infuriates me that any agent is able to get away with this whilst causing so much distress to a landlord. It can often discourage them from using a good reputable letting agents in the future.
All landlords should do their research with regards to finding a good agent, making sure they belong to an association such as ARLA or NALS, that they are registered with a mandatory redress scheme and, most importantly, that they have client money protection insurance in place. Landlords can also look for the SAFEagent logo which will give them a peace of mind. This way, if ever the instructed agent was to go out of business the rent and their tenant’s deposit would be insured.”
Catch tenacious Margaret walking up and down Bicester High Street with a sandwich board warning other landlords of this rogue agent as she prepares to face a cowardly Carl Afilaka on Wednesday 8th July on Channel 5 at 9pm.