Landlord faces agent who owes her £20,000

Landlord faces agent who owes her £20,000

8:58 AM, 7th July 2015, About 9 years ago 1

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Paul Shamplina

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.

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.

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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:21 AM, 7th July 2015, About 9 years ago

The Police rarely prosecute white collar crime of this nature but there are alternatives which can be cost neutral but are not well known.

Before we had a Police Force all prosecutions were handled privately. The ability to prosecute privately still exists and better still, if a Judge accepts there is a case which deserves to be heard then all of the costs are funded by the public purse. This is very different to litigation where the loser typically pays both sides costs.

With a private prosecution a Direct Access Barrister can serve a summons within days. Faced with a criminal prosecution and the potential of time behind bars this often results in a very fast result.

The cost of employing a Direct Access Barrister can be a few thousand pounds but where there are multiple victims this can amount to a small contribution from each party. Once the Judge agrees that there is a case to be heard, based on the evidence presented by the barrister, all costs are covered .... including the barristers initial fees and and other expenses relating to an investigation. The Police can, of course, step in and take over the case at any time but the same principles apply.

Victims of the crime can be awarded compensation by the Courts and whilst a case is awaiting trial by Jury the assets of the personal accused can also be frozen.

Crime is always committed by a person so a limited company does not act as a shield for the perpetrators. Also, unlike litigation, there is no time limit for which a crime can be heard in a Court of law.

For more details please see the website owned by the founders of Property118 and supported by Cotswold Barristers >>>

Enquiries from private individuals and solicitors are welcome.

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