Fed-up landlord Prafula Copp wants to encourage others in the sector to join a new campaign, fighting for landlords’ rights.

After a number of bad experiences with non-paying and destructive tenants, she believes the government needs to stop penalising landlords and plans to start a petition demanding stronger rights.

“I’ve lost thousands of pounds and had some very bad experiences since starting out in 2007 with a small portfolio of properties,” she tells LandlordZONE.

“I’m currently dealing with a tenant who hasn’t paid rent for a few months and is now sending threatening letters.

“I’ve discovered that the referencing firm hasn’t done its job properly as it turns out that the business he was supposedly working for is dormant, and his supposed boss has a criminal record.

“He’s now saying that I disclosed information about him and is demanding that I pay back the rent for two months, along with his deposit, and release him from his 12-month contract. It’s making me really stressed.”

Fraudulent reference

Copp is also helping a landlord friend who is battling with his estate agent which accepted a fraudulent reference for his tenant.

Another friend is being prevented from entering their property by a tenant whose home has a cockroach infestation, even though it is affecting the maisonette below. 

She says that these problems are endemic and believes the government needs to keep records where landlords, councils and utilities suppliers can trace fraudulent tenants who have been abusing the system.

Read more: The ultimate guide to tenant referencing

Just a few years ago the London-based landlord had to completely redecorate a property after a professional tenant trashed it before he left.

“There is not enough protection for landlords,” Copp adds. “I hope other landlords can join me so we can get thousands of signatures to take to the government. We need to do more than the landlord associations are currently doing.”

Read more about fraudulent referencing attempts.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Im all in favour of landlords joining together in a Campaigning role.

    But, we have to be very careful what the campaign puts across.

    The Landlord in the article states a professional tenant trashed her property. Well, as long as evidence was compiled at the beginning and end of the tenancy, ot should be pretty easy to sue a professional person to get all the money back and land the tenant with a ccj etc

    The various landlord groups such as NRLA should be campaign on our behalf, yet they are silent on the issues

    • Unfortunately for landlords it’s not easy to recoup money from an employed tenant. My last tenant had excellent references and no ccjs but things went horribly wrong. She lied about having a cat, had a bust up with her husband, lost her job and moved out claiming DV. No forwarding address. Refuses to reply to my texts. She left loads of broken furniture etc. costing me thousands in redecorating and cleaning. She is getting 3 ccjs from me and has ct and utilities chasing the debts she left behind as she paid nothing all the time she was there.

      • Sorry, I was referring to the “professional” tenant the article mentions; not simply someone who had a job.

        Can’t you go after the husband too or wasn’t he living there, or perhaps you only had her as tenant and he was living there?

        Basically, what I’m trying to say is WE as landlords can’t complain about everything that happens. WE (well the NRLA) need to focus on getting “the message” across that there are repeat offenders out there who are playing the system and it needs to be addressed.

    • We might think it’s easy to sue professional tenant and that’s not always true. The tenant’s move to different places and even tracing company cannot even trace for so many years.
      They do get CCJ but even when they go for some time we have deal with so many letters we get are from bailiffs for unpaid bills etc etc

  2. Politics is all about getting votes from the electorate, where the landlord sector is a very small minority.

    Much better to self educate about the business, attract good quality tenants who deserve good quality housing. Unfortunately those who want to do it on the cheap without any hassle need to realise it’s not the reality. Only buy quality property and cut out the poor quality middle men, i.e. letting agents. Remember the letting agents don’t want the good tenants who usually stay for years, they want you landlords returning every 6 to 12 months because the previous tenancy didn’t work out, then give the usual ‘not me guv’ attitude when it comes to the reason.

  3. Is it possible to get a ccj when you don’t have a new address?
    We evicted a tenant who had trashed the property and stopped paying rent.
    We know he was rehoused by Kingston council but don’t have the new address. Nor is he replying to emails asking for a forwarding address.
    It currently looks like good money after bad to pay for a ccj which is essentially unenforceable.
    Advice please

    • Yes. If your extenant refuses to give you a forwarding address suggest they get their mail redirected as you will be writing to them at their last known address.

  4. Not all agents are bad, there are some very good smaller agents who really do everything they can if a tenant “encounters difficulties.” One of the main things is getting on the problem (tenant) straight away, not leaving things unattended.
    Yes, there are bad agents who haven’t a clue, they employ staff who don’t care. I advise all L/lords if they employ an agent to only sign up for a minimum period and also to take the time to at least make themselves aware of all the regulations.

  5. It must be appreciated by all LL that they are on a hiding to NOTHING if they believe the Govt will do anything to assist them against feckless tenants!!

    Will NEVER happen.

    Just factor this into the business model.

    If LL did this most LL would need to sell up.

    LL AREN’T operating viable business models if they are unable or willing to subsidise feckless rent defaulting and otherwise wrongun tenants.

    They should move away from AST lettings to be viable.

  6. It’s easy to find people without a forwarding address. Use a private investigator such as Melvyn Rattenbury Dip API. MABI, M.R. Investigations. He has found a couple of evasive people for me and it isn’t expensive

    • Thank you.
      On one case tracing company found address and the tenant’s partner lied and when the tracing company went again they left the property then tracing company could not trace

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