Sub-letting scam exposed by Channel 5 in first of six-part series with Landlord Action

by Property 118

11:44 AM, 22nd June 2015
About 3 years ago

Sub-letting scam exposed by Channel 5 in first of six-part series with Landlord Action

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Sub-letting scam exposed by Channel 5 in first of six-part series with Landlord Action Paul Shamplina – founder of Landlord Action and now TV celebrity!

On Wednesday 24th June 2015 at 9pm, Channel 5 will air the first episode of ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’, a six-part series following leading eviction specialists, Landlord Action, and council teams from across Britain, as they deal with the gritty side of the UK’s buy-to-let industry, exposing problematic tenants and dishonest landlords.

With 8 million people renting in the UK, the series is set to provide a shocking insight into some of the tactics used by both landlords and tenants. It will uncover horror stories of home-owners battling to take repossession of their homes from tenants who refuse to pay, and landlords exposed for the poor and unsanitary living conditions of their rental properties.

The first 60 minute episode will delve into the world of sub-letting, following two separate cases which have cost the landlords involved thousands.

Mr and Mrs Bailey from London were scammed by “Jerome Baker” after signing an agreement with his rent-to-rent company, only to find out 24 hours later it was a hoax and there was no company. Despite trying to back out of the agreement, Baker ignored their correspondence, broke into the property in the early hours of the morning to change the locks and subsequently sub-let it to several different tenants.  When the couple went to the police, they were told it was a civil matter.

Mrs Susan Bailey said “It was the most awful experience that consumed our lives.  He sent heavies round to warn us and broke into our property on more than one occasion, yet we were powerless to stop him.  We genuinely felt like we were going mad. How could we be ignored by the authorities when something so wrong was happening? I contacted everyone I could think of from Stella Creasy and Jennette Arnold to Theresa May and the House of Lords. Thank goodness we came across Paul Shamplina and Justin Selig of Landlord Action who helped us go to court with an injunction.  I dread to think what a state we would be in now without their help.”

Gary and Susan Bailey

Gary and Susan Bailey

Mr & Mrs Bailey are currently more than £16,000 out of pocket and have subsequently learnt Mr Baker has operated under several false names in similar scams.

The second case features an elderly couple with a property in Hatfield. As soon as they let their property to their tenant Jecintha Rahman, she started to sub-let it. However, she was actually taking deposits and upfront rent from unsuspecting sub-tenants but never letting them move in. Jecintha managed to do this over and over again until the law eventually caught up with her and she was arrested and charged. She served four months on remand and was given a suspended sentence for theft and fraud.

Mr Shamplina says “We’ve been in this business for 15 years and this series could run and run if it were to uncover all the unsavoury behaviour which occurs in the buy-to-let industry. Hopefully the cases highlighted in ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ will give a balanced view of the issues that can occur on both sides and remind landlords of the importance of thorough due diligence.”

The series will run for six weeks, every Wednesday on Channel 5 at 9pm starting on 24th June 2015.

Contact Landlord Action

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


Comments

Mandy Thomson

15:50 PM, 22nd June 2015
About 3 years ago

It is good to see someone at least acknowledging that bad and criminal practice can and does happen on BOTH sides - instead of simply implying that landlords - ALL landlords - are the bad guys a la "The Housing Enforcers". Moreover, it is also possible for someone to have a foot in BOTH camps - I don't just mean rent to rent (whether done legally or not) but for example, many people let a property out in one area, then move to another area and rent as a tenant.

Christine Lagarde called recently for a discussion about the Greek debt crisis "with adults in the room". Well, it's about time we had a similar mature and balanced discussion about landlord and tenant problems instead of childish landlord bashing.

Jay James

16:51 PM, 22nd June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "22/06/2015 - 15:50":

Ditto on the mature and balanced discussion about landlords & tenants. Maybe then there would be half a chance of the sector changing and me having a chance at earning a living as a landlord.

(Not the point of your post I know, but Greece should be treated just like me when debts are not paid.)

Neil Patterson

12:03 PM, 24th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Don't forget 9pm Channel 5 tonight folks 🙂

Neil Patterson

16:39 PM, 24th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Change to episode schedule as Channel 5 launches first of six-part series with Landlord Action

Tonight, Wednesday 24th June 2015 at 9pm, Channel 5 will air the first episode of ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’, a six-part series following us, Landlord Action, and council teams from across Britain, as we deal with the gritty side of the UK’s buy-to-let industry, exposing problematic tenants and dishonest landlords.

With 8 million people renting in the UK, the series is set to provide a shocking insight into some of the tactics used by both landlords and tenants. It will uncover horror stories of home-owners battling to take repossession of their homes from tenants who refuse to pay, and landlords exposed for the poor and unsanitary living conditions of their rental properties.

The first 60 minute episode was set to delve into the world of sub-letting but following the surprise arrest of one of the scammers, the episode has had to be delayed.

Now, the first episode will follow three separate stories, one with The Landlord Group, one with Lewisham Council and another case that we were involved with helping a landlord recover possession of his father’s property after he passed away.

Mr Amit Patel’s father had had a tenant/lodger living with him for the last 5.5 years. Upon his death, it was left to Mr Patel to take possession of the property. Unfortunately there was no sign of a tenancy agreement. It came to Mr Patel’s attention that Rajan Shah, the tenant, had been under investigation for stealing from his father - money to the sum of £81,000, his passport as well as bank details.

When questioned how much rent he was paying, Mr Shah quoted £350 per month which Mr Patel knew to be well below the market rent. He also claimed to be paying in cash, but it was thought he had not paid rent in many years.

When asked to leave, he said he would legally require four weeks’ notice. Mr Patel duly wrote him a note giving notice and asking for the last month’s rent. Mr Shah then went on to change his number and after further investigation it emerged he had been fired from his job for theft.

This is when Mr Patel called upon our help. We served a letter of action and hoped the pressure regarding filming would be enough to encourage him to leave. In tonight’s episode, you will see the outcome of this case as we negotiated and obtained possession within just one week. Sadly, you will also see the state of the property on the departure of this unruly tenant.

We’ve been in this business for 15 years and this series could run and run if it were to uncover all the unsavoury behaviour which occurs in the buy-to-let industry. Hopefully the cases highlighted in ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ will give a balanced view of the issues that can occur on both sides and remind landlords of the importance of thorough due diligence.

The series will run for six weeks, every Wednesday on Channel 5 at 9pm starting on 24th June 2015.


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