Eviction expert Paul Shamplina helps a landlord couple confront their evasive letting agent on the latest edition of Evicted! Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords.
The Channel 5 programme features landlords Suketu and Minesha Patel who signed a guaranteed rent agreement with an agent to manage their three-bedroom East London property.
But after receiving only one month’s full rent, payments became sporadic, before stopping altogether. They are now owed more than £7,000 and the agent is avoiding them.
“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,” says Suketu.
“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.”
The Patels call in Shamplina for help, who decides to confront the agent in his office (see below) to try and get their property and money back.
The agent claims he’s the victim and the tenants haven’t been paying any rent, but when the Patels meet the tenant, they hear a different story. With rent arrears still escalating, the couple have no alternative but to start the eviction process.
Shamplina says the prospect of guaranteed rent can seem attractive to landlords, saving them the trouble of dealing with voids, rent arrears, and eviction.
He adds: “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. At present, it is still like the Wild West with far too many landlords being duped.”