A landlord is celebrating finally getting her flat back after waiting for more than a year to evict her errant tenant.

Lilyanna Markova, who works in a cosmetic clinic, built up losses totalling more than £35,000 in back rent and legal costs after the tenant refused to pay rent or move out – and was then caught up in the courts backlog. She’s extremely glad to have the flat back.

“I feel very happy,” Lilyanna tells LandlordZONE. “It’s been so much stress and I’m glad it’s finally over.”

However, her victory is bitter-sweet as she estimates it will cost at least £50,000 to carry out all the necessary repairs after the tenant left it in an appalling state.

She adds: “I had thought about moving into the property but I just want to sell it now as there are too many bad memories.”

Erratic payments

Lilyanna first rented out her two-bedroom flat to the tenant and her three children near London city airport in September 2017 and rent payments were erratic or non-existent from the start.

When she tried unsuccessfully to serve a Section 21 notice in 2018, the tenant countered with a compensation demand for problems caused by damp.

Since then, court hearings have been constantly delayed and she’s had a particularly difficult time during the pandemic after being herself evicted from her rented central London flat last September when the landlord needed it back.

She’s been living in an Airbnb for months and relying on friends’ help to pay bills ever since.

Her story was featured on BBC London News as part of an investigation into rent arrears and evictions, alongside Landlord Action’s Paul Shamplina who helped with the evictions process.


  1. This story highlights how unfair the current system is. The system is stacked in favour of a bad tenant. In any other sector taking something without paying for it would be theft.

    They seem to want it both ways. When a property is poor condition, they use terms such as “slum landlord”. However, if a tenant wrecks a property, that seems perfectly acceptable in society. What motivation is there to spend money on the property, if a tenant is going to wreck it or not pay rent?

    There is no level playing field.

    Why wont Shelter comment on abuses such as this?

  2. Shelter won’t comment as this doesn’t fit their agenda. Shelter is a left wing organisation focused purely on pushing the bias further and further to the tenants benefit and landlords cost. Ironically this is leading to the opposite of their stated objectives, fewer properties to rent, higher rents and increasing homelessness. Shelter a charity that doesn’t provide any Shelter but tells those that do what they are doing wrong.

  3. We had flats almost wrecked by a series of horrible tenants who did not work, made all sorts of creative excuses not to pay the top-up over the Local Housing Allowance Housing Benefit, never got claims completed in time, and usually left without informing anyone, leaving unpaid bills running into the thousands. Shelter, please note – this is the reason why we definitely discriminate now and only choose people who seem to be likely not to wreck our finances, health and building. You can call me what you like, I’m fed up with taking ridiculous risks housing people who just take the whatsit and have foul mouths to boot. The blasted wasters don’t even wash. And has anyone at Shelter ever had to go through the rigmarole of the proper disposal of used needles? I’m entirely out of patience, and as for compassion, they killed it!

    • You’ve had the worst experiences Alexandra, which we as Letting agents have never had to face (thankfully), but we know they happen and the odds are in favour of the low life individuals who think it reasonable to destroy other’s livelihoods. I am surprised that so many people still seek to invest in BTL properties with all the risks they can present.

  4. Would be nice for Borris Johnson-spending much less time wondering around factories,farms ,shops and schools,etc-and focus on running the bloody country.
    He should be acting like a Prime Minister,not a kid on a school outing. Addressing such issues much be dealt with a sense of urgently.

  5. Completely agree with all comments. If they dont address this issue and protect the landlords then the rent will increase and very less property to rent. I have loss wealth and health due to bad tenants. They know the laws are on their favour so they are allowed to behave badly.

  6. Totally shocking and shameful behaviour by this unnamed tenant… How can someone like that still get protection of anonymity which will allow her to move on and stich up the next landlord who is duped into handing over a set of keys.

    People are jailed for far less… if HMRC were owed 85k by the tenant they’d be facing 5 years jail instead the chances are they will get way totally scott free.

    Doubtless Shelter/Generation Rent and Sadiq Khan & Andy Burnham will not give a hoot.
    Currently the risk of letting to anyone is not worth it until the eviction ban is totally eradicated and the court backlog eliminated there is little point taking such risks.

  7. Thank goodness I managed to sell, just before COVID hit. After 40 years of renting my flat, I honestly have never seen the rental situation in such a dreadful mess. I’ve seen it all, unpaid rent for months on end, flat wrecked, windows smashed, abusive tenants, and kitchens and bathrooms so disgusting you wouldn’t believe it. One tenant disappeared with my secondary glazing and left a kitchen crawling with insects on his mouldy food. And he had a child!
    I’ve lost so much money I couldn’t wait to get out. Let’s have a mass protest!!!

    • Just take the property off the market- better to leave it empty than risk such bad tenants. Then watch the homeless numbers and rents skyrocket. Maybe then the Government will get off it backside and get social housing provision ramped up and the PRS sector can get back to a market that will pay rent on time and look after property respectfully – not holding my breath though!

      • Govt aint getting off its backside – it doesnt have one ! Leave it empty – you get hammered by double council tax – they may even start Taxing empty properties if homeless number and rents skyrocket – the rocket will stall when rent controls come in by maybe a different Govt – the PRS will be dismantled – councils are already starting to build blocks to house people in certain parts of the country – the Private Landlord is the bad guy – its wise to sell up while you cant – seek out some other investment where the Govt does not decide how much profit you make and how you make it…

    • Yes you are absolutely right let’s have a mass protest what kind of low is that to protect people who still from you

  8. This is exactly why shelter don’t and never will provide housing. They know how tenants behave.

    I would shelter to take some of there millions every year but properties to house tenants on normal BTL .

    I wonder how much rent they would charge . How much rent arrears damage they would put up with.

  9. I cannot understand why the government’s unilateral withdrawal of legal recourse for landlords is not a blatant violation of their human rights. It’s also bltant victimisation and discrimination. This is an appalling case.

    • You have the elected politicians whom we identify as the Govt, but you also have the Civil servants (the Sir Humpries from Yes Minister – you may recall) who actually run the Govt – it may just be these people who have a the view that Landlords are greedy parasites – so no human rights required,. They along with the media do not have the view that LL are normal people….

  10. Could the above LL, Lilyanna Markova, give the tenant a CCJ? Although she may never get her money back, at least it will stop this terrible tenant getting another rental property in the future.
    It’s imperative that us LL carry out a thorough reference check on every tenant. If tenants aren’t squeeky clean from now on, they do not move into my properties.

  11. Re Daniella Provvedi’s suggestion that the LL should get a CCJ against the tenant, so that there is a public record of his dreadful behaviour. In 2010, the last year of a Labour government, the court fee for applying for a CCJ for £85K was £595. Today it is £4,250. This puts the courts beyond the reach of many people.

  12. Politicians and tenants are of the same mindset. One robs the tenants and government supports them with laws. And politicians rake millions by secret deals and consultations and doing favours who are in their network. They have no morals and lie to make fast buck. Nowadays it doesn’t pay to work hard to better yourself only end up paying taxes and subsidising rouge Yemenis and politicians


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