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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Three landlords face financial ruin on “Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords”

This week’s episode of Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’, featuring evictions expert Landlord Action, will feature three separate landlords all facing financial ruin as a result of troublesome tenants.

The first story follows builder Franc Coutinho, who had been renting his property out in North London for six years without a problem until his latest tenant, Shuaghxi Fu, moved in.

Within six weeks, problems with paying the rent began with the tenant reporting false issues with the boiler to avoid paying rent. Despite numerous visits by plumbers to the property, when rent was due, the boiler mysteriously stopped working. Unable to take anymore and facing financial ruin, Franc started the eviction process. However, when his day in court arrives, Shuaghxi Fu makes a surprise show, files a last minute defence – again about the faulty boiler – and delays the eviction by months.

Commenting on the case, Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action, said: “Sadly we see far too many cases like this. It is one of the many reasons we have fought so hard to prevent law changes in relation to retaliation eviction because we fear we will see more and more cases like this if tenants are able to use delay tactics by reporting bogus issues of disrepair. Upon checking out the property it was clear there was nothing wrong with the boiler but the delay at court meant poor Franc was left with months of unpaid rent and legal fees. Having to pay two mortgages he was on the brink of bankruptcy.”

The episode’s second case features landlord Dipan Doshi who has been renting his flat out to a family of four for 18 months but for the past year has barely received a penny in rent, and is now owed over £12,000.

With a wife on maternity leave, he can’t just walk away from this amount of money, so starts the ball rolling in getting the money and his property back.

Finally, after been out of pocket to the tune of £7,000 in unpaid rent, landlord Louise McKinlay finally gets her tenant evicted, but once she’s in the property she finds that just because the tenant’s gone, doesn’t mean that’s the end of the nightmare.

‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ is on Channel 5 on Wednesday at 9pm.

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    A friend had long email exchanges with Shelter about the 'retaliation eviction' issue. Shelter just refused to take on board that this sort of change in the law would seriously impact on landlords, who in the main, are just trying to make a living. They're not rogues or villains with waxed moustaches that are trying to screw every last penny out of someone. Yet Shelter just don't see it, nor do they see the long term negative effect of good landlords quitting the market, or enlarging their portfolio's. Or even worse (from Shelter's perspective) giving homes to LHA tenants because rightly or wrongly, in many people's eyes, they are the people most likely to pull such a stunt. Come on David Cameron, let's have some balance in the law please!

  • Kenny Sahota

    You make some great points John, it's frustrating to be an experienced and law-abiding landlord and yet witness such imbalance in the industry.

    However we must remember that these occasions of badly behaving tenants are few and far between. It's vital that landlords go into this process with their eyes open, and be prepared for such misdemeanors to occur.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    "They're not rogues or villains with waxed moustaches that are trying to screw every last penny out of someone."

    But some of them are, which is kind of the point. In the case of Franc Coutinho - is he Philippe's dad by the way? - it would appear the tenant was taking massive liberties and was definitely in the wrong. However, this programme only shows three isolated incidents. I'm sure we could find three isolated incidents of tenants being treated badly by landlords. It's this tit for tat that we need to stop - landlords having a go at tenants, tenants having a go at landlords, and nothing being solved.

    This is why more controls being placed on landlords and more regulation within the PRS is no bad thing in my view. If it stops landlords moaning about unfair treatment and if it makes tenants feel more secure, we'd get less of these incidents.

    I don't think you should be making a living purely from being a landlord, but that's for another day.

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