17:08 PM, 14th July 2021, About 10 months ago 5
This week, on Channel 5’s ‘Evicted! Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ [Thursday 15 July, 10pm] I expose a rogue letting agent offering “guaranteed rent” and confront the agent at his office in Walthamstow.
Landlords Suketu and Minesha Patel own a three-bedroom property in East London. They used a local letting agent to manage their property and signed up on a “guaranteed rent” scheme. However, after receiving only one month’s full rent, payments became sporadic, before stopping altogether. “I would call the agent to follow up on where the rent was and suddenly, he would transfer a nominal amount, sometimes £300, sometimes £100, but never the full £1,800 owed. He claimed he was paying us from his own pocket as the tenants had not paid rent. However, the agreement we had was supposed to guarantee our rental income regardless of whether or not the property was occupied, or the tenants had fallen into arrears,” said Mr Patel.
When the agent became increasingly difficult to contact and arrears reached nearly £7,000, the Patel’s contacted Landlord Action and we can be seen on this week’s show taking a direct approach to resolving the issue by confronting the agent at his office in an attempt to recover the missing rent.
It becomes quite fractious.
The prospect of guaranteed rent, also known as a rent-to-rent scheme, can seem like an attractive proposition to landlords, saving them the trouble of dealing with voids, rent arrears, and eviction. However, across each series of the show, I always make sure I expose the problem of guaranteed rent/ rent-to-rent, and try to educate landlords about this sector of the industry, because significant pitfalls remain for landlords if they choose the wrong company. Clearly more needs to be done, and we know this has already been mentioned in the RoPA (Regulation of Property Agents) Report, so we are confident in future such agents will fall within the scope of the new regulatory regime. At present, it is still like the Wild West with far too many landlords being duped.
The agent, in this case, claims that he is the victim and that the tenants have not been paying any rent, but when the Patel’s meet the tenant, they hear a different story.
There is another rogue guaranteed rent operator, also in Walthamstow, which we expose later in the series.
Watch ‘Evicted! Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ on Channel 5, every Thursday at 10pm.
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