14:46 PM, 17th May 2017, About 5 years ago
This week (Thursday 18th May, 9pm) Channel Five’s “Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords” will highlight why Client Money Protection is of paramount importance to all landlords and tenants, as a rogue agent in Ilford fails to pass on rent or carry out sufficient referencing, leading to a sub-letting scam via a Romanian property website.
When IT consultant Doni Soeyono decided to invest his hard-earned savings in a property, he thought it was best to use a letting agent to avoid the headache of any potential nightmare tenants. But from the outset, all was not what it seemed. Almost immediately, Doni found himself on the backfoot with his rent arriving consistently late, if at all, and his requests for information ignored. Just as he thought things couldn’t get any worse, he discovered that the agent had not carried out proper referencing and his house was being sub-let on a Romanian website to tenants who have no intention of leaving.
When confronted about their shortcomings, including poor referencing and not passing on rent, the agent proceeded to lock me in the office! Despite this, the Landlord Action team recovered the rent for the landlord before the company folded. Sadly other landlords and tenants who used the same agent were not so lucky, defrauded out of thousands of pounds in rent and deposits.
This is a particularly difficult case. Not only is the poor landlord battling with rogue tenants residing in his property through a sub-letting scam, he is also fighting against an unscrupulous agent which has failed in every aspect of their duty of care. It is so important that landlords and tenants ask their agent if they have Client Money Protect (CMP) insurance so that if the business closes, their money is protected. If the answer is no, do not use them. There is a common misconception that landlord and tenant money is protected by law (YouGov Poll) but this is not the case, so the sooner CMP is mandatory, hopefully next year, the better.
Doni Soeyono now faces months of trying to evict his tenants. Watch this week’s episode of “Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords” (18th May, 9pm on Channel 5) to find out if we manage to have Doni’s case transferred to the High Court and get his property back.
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