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  • In the Spotlight

    Tonight on C5 - sub-let scammer & family feud

    In this week’s episode of Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords’, Landlord Action tackles two very different eviction cases, one involving an illegal sub-let by a ‘professional’ scam artist, the other which sees a favour turn into a family feud.

    In the first case, young landlord Han Yip discovers his West London flat is being illegally sublet to three unsuspecting students. They have been paying thousands of pounds to live in an exclusive part of London, but their rent is being pocketed by the man who posed as the legitimate tenant.

    Flaunting his seemingly ‘flashy’ life on Instagram and showing off about his ‘property business empire’, he is in fact a scam artist, who has spent time in a US prison on fraud charges. 

    Calling on the help of myself, founder of Landlord Action, Han Yip is determined to expose the rogue tenant and reclaim his debts.

    I commented : “Han Yip was very unlucky. He had done everything correctly, from using a professional letting agent to carrying out thorough referencing. Unfortunately, this particular fraudster had changed the spelling of his name among other tricks to slip through referencing.  Illegal sub-letting is becoming something of an epidemic in London and more needs to be done to prevent cases like these.”

    In the second case, Landlord Action is called upon to help end an unusual family disagreement.  Three years ago, Sade Ademoye took pity on her cousin Kirk, who was in dire straits after his divorce. Agreeing to temporarily let a room to him in her elderly mother’s home, Sade also gave him a cheap rate. But after her mother passed away, he refused to leave. With this family feud turning acrimonious, Sade also turns to help from myself and my team to evict her cousin.

    “This tenant took advantage of his cousin’s late Mother and took over the property, even though the agreement was only to rent a room.  He then refused to leave. These stories, and others throughout the series, demonstrate the diversity of cases that we have to deal with at Landlord Action and the reasons landlords look to gain possession.  It is rarely non-fault but often landlords feel powerless and turn to eviction as an absolute last resort."

    Watch Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords on Channel 5, Mondays at 9pm.

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    Founder of Landlord Action and Brand Ambassador for Hamilton Fraser

    Hi Paul.. sounds like you had your hands full again. Last weeks result collecting that debt form the Letting Agent was superb. I didn't think you had much of a chance on that one personally. Nice work!

    I don't mean to hijack your comment, but looking forward tot seeing tonight's episode... only to see how our filming has panned out.. we had another tricky one to deal with in tonight's episode... we had to deal with two tenants that were causing mayhem on a nice quiet street in Darwen. The two lads in question were constantly partying and causing a nuisance.. and of course it was neither of them when questioned... needless to say enough was enough and we wanted them out. Have to say it was a pretty scary scene.. threats from gypsies put the wind up us a bit. we eventually got them out but they trashed the place! Guarantor was in denial.... claiming her boy would do any of this! bill for works approx £5k and they'll pay! (But if we get stuck on the collection I'll give you a ring! lol)

    Paul

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    Supplier of High Yielding Managed Properties & Portfolios in the North West.

    Author of the DarwenPropertyBlog.com

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    I've watched the last two episodes of this programme, and to be honest you don't come out of it very well.  You seem to be letting to tenants who I would hope wouldn't pass referencing, but they seem to with you.  When Letting Agents find bad tenants they sometimes just appear to wash their hands of any responsibility and then expect the Landlord to pay to get the property back up to scratch.

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    Hi Simon..

    I get what you're saying. What is being aired is all true stuff.. and as a proud agent that started off years ago as an investor, I should add that we are the strictest agent on our patch and we treat our landlords' properties like they are our own. Your right that most (if not nearly all) agents pass the problems back to the landlords but I can't do that. We fight their corner til the end! We litigate wherever we have to. All tenants must have a Home Owner Guarantor... so we always have protection. and to be fair we have an excellent recovery rate for dilapidations etc (despite the abuse we get along the way for suing mums, uncles, grandmas etc!!).

    The programme on Monday did not make it clear on this one... that it is the Guarantor I should feel sorry for as they get the bill (and they will pay it!). Unfortunately the Guarantor is one of my other Landlord Clients and knows what we are like for making houses right in such situations and recovering the money.. Unfortunately he didn't help himself on this one as he could have got the lads out much sooner when I asked him to help us with it.. but decided to take no notice... in fact in denial of the problem..

    The programme does highlight that no matter how many checks you do as an agent or a Landlord things can and do go wrong.. I suppose the thing to realise is you need to make sure you have a good agent behind you, but unfortunately these are few and far between I think? but that said.. you need nerves of steel to be able to handle the abuse it can generate.. but we're used to that and take no notice any more.

    Hope my explanation sheds light on this one..

    Cheers

    Paul

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    Supplier of High Yielding Managed Properties & Portfolios in the North West.

    Author of the DarwenPropertyBlog.com

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    Sorry another case of landlord thinking its easy to make money out of renting. Well why did he not make sure he was receiving the rent in the first place and if a  month was missed why did he not check up on it. Another case of too much money and little sense easy target for the scammers. .No sympathy from me I am afraid.

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    Quite common that Douglas... you have to jump on arrears straight away. I presume he wasn't using a management service from an agent as I would have expected the agent to have intervened much sooner.. another landlord learning the hard way I'm afraid...

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    Supplier of High Yielding Managed Properties & Portfolios in the North West.

    Author of the DarwenPropertyBlog.com

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    The property that had been sublet had been advertised on Spareroom - perhaps there should be a requirement for Spareroom to check ownership of the property.

    There have also been reports of properties not being owned by the person advertising them on AirBNB, again there should be a responsibility on the site to check ownership.


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    Totally agree Essex, OpenRent will only let you advertise on their platform once they have proof of ownership. Whilst there system is labour intensive, in so much as you have to send over the title documents, there are automated systems that can confirm ownership with land reg in real time. This coupled with an ID verification would lock the property down to being owned by you or not.

    I just don't understand the lack of willingness to adopt this type of solution, surely it would add integrity to their systems. Or do they make more money from fraudulent adverts than the genuine ones? That is the question.

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    Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing, ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk

    I would have thought this would have been tested out in court by now ie a Website has advertised your property for rent without your permission and as a result you are out of pocket and want compensating .
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    Their T&Cs will clearly state that they are merely a hub for others to post their properties on and they have no liability for any losses incurred as a result. Much the same as Tescos absolving responsibility for cars parked in their car parks or hotels responsibilities to guests item's stolen from hotel rooms.

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    Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing, ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk

    It’s not the same thing because you choose to park your own car in Tesco car park and stay in a hotel room and accept the risks whereas an imposter has pretended to be someone else on a website to advertise something he doesn’t own. It’s totally different that . If the owners of the website have any assets worth going for I’d love to see this tested out in court .
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