On tonight’s episode of Channel 5’s “Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords”, two unlucky landlords learn the dangers of advertising a property via social media and how technology can be used to defraud landlords out of thousands of pounds.
Landlord Jessica and her husband Dennis find themselves in a nightmare situation. When they moved to a new house, rather than sell their old home they decided to rent it out temporarily. Never having been landlords before, they put a simple advert out on Facebook. They were quickly contacted by a potential tenant – a single mother who provided all the necessarily documents and passed referencing checks.
On the day the tenant was due to move in, she met Jessica and Dennis at the property. She presented a screenshot on her smartphone of a bank transfer showing that she had transferred one month’s deposit and the first month’s rent.
Unfortunately, Jessica and Dennis handed over the keys to their property before checking the money had cleared. They soon realised that the tenant had tricked them, the photo was fake, there was no money in their account and now the tenant was living in their home rent free.
Left with £5000 rent arrears and in a desperate situation, the couple call in Landlord Action. Founder, Paul Shamplina, says:
“We hear many stories about rental fraud and how hopeful tenants are being scammed out of deposits by rogue landlords offering properties online, but the risks are just as great for landlords.
“On the one hand, technology is helping to provide greater protection for landlords, on the other, it is also creating opportunities for fraudsters and sadly, those with less experience of being landlords are easy targets. I suspect from the details of this case that the tenant was a repeat offender.
“As the industry continues to take great strides in identifying criminal landlords and letting agents, I agree with many other professionals that there should also be a register to identify ‘professional’ rogue tenants.”
Watch “Bad Tenants Rogue Landlords” tonight 12th July, at 8pm on Channel 5.
About Landlord Action
Landlord Action is a UK based organisation helping landlords, letting agents and other property professionals. As a champion for landlords, it has campaigned extensively and was instrumental in getting the law changed to make squatting a criminal offence.
It was founded in 1999 as the first ever fixed-fee tenant eviction specialist, they revolutionised this area of legal practice. They have now acted in more than 35,000 problem tenant cases and are considered the authority in this field.
Landlord Action run a free advice line to help landlords and property professionals understand their rights: 020 8 906 3838
About Paul Shamplina
Paul Shamplina is one of the key founders of Landlord Action with 25 years’ experience in the legal field. He has previously worked as a legal clerk, private investigator, debt collector and certified bailiff.
He has appeared regularly on TV and radio and lectures across the UK at landlord seminars and events and still works full time in the office, heading up the team of advisors.
Paul believes passionately in the rights of the landlord and is always available for comment on any landlord/tenant matters.