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Sub-letting scams to be exposed on TV tomorrow

Channel 5 tomorrow airs the first episode of Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords, a six-part series which starts with the story of two sub-letting scams which the programme makers say have cost landlords thousands of pounds. 

The first 60 minute episode, made with the assistance of eviction specialists Landlord Action, will follow two sub-letting cases. 

Mr and Mrs Bailey from London were scammed by ‘Jerome Baker’ after signing an agreement with his rent-to-rent company, only to find out 24 hours later it was a hoax and there was no company. 

Despite trying to back out of the agreement, Baker ignored their correspondence, broke into the property in the early hours of the morning to change the locks and subsequently sub-let it to several different tenants. When the couple went to the police, they were told it was a civil matter.

“He sent heavies round to warn us and broke into our property on more than one occasion, yet we were powerless to stop him. I contacted everyone I could think of from Stella Creasy and Jennette Arnold to Theresa May and the House of Lords” says Mrs Bailey. She and her husband are currently more than £16,000 out of pocket and have subsequently learnt that Baker has operated under several false names in similar scams.

The second case features an elderly couple with a property in Hatfield. 

As soon as they let their property to their tenant Jecintha Rahman, she started to sub-let it. However, she was actually taking deposits and upfront rent from unsuspecting sub-tenants but never letting them move in. Rahman managed to do this over and over again until the law eventually caught up with her and she was arrested and charged. She served four months on remand and was given a suspended sentence for theft and fraud.  

The series will run for six weeks, every Wednesday on Channel 5 at 9pm, starting tomorrow. 

  • Billy The Fish

    Oh, so does this mean that Tenants can be devious, greedy and twisted as well as all of the Landlords in the UK?

  • Rob  Davies

    Well, yes. There are bad tenants just as there are bad landlords. Difference is, tenants aren't making any money out of their activities, so they gain nothing by acting up and being a nightmare. Whereas bad landlords seem to be quite good at making as much money as they possibly can before the authorities finally catch up with them (if they ever do).

    This sort of programme doesn't help things - sensationalist, divisive dross that in no way shows the whole picture. Luckily, it's on Channel 5, so only one man and his dog will be watching, but there are too many of these cheap, nasty, reactionary shows appearing in the last few years, purely there to cause controversy and chase after easy ratings.

  • icon

    I cannot understand why the police will treat a break-in as a civil matter. What a cop-out!

  • Tim Gorgulu

    Sounds awful! I go by the old adage (which I've just made up myself): if it's on Channel 5, it's probably not worth watching.

    Don't think I'll be missing out.

  • Kelly Evans

    Typical Channel 5 programme. Don't expect any balance or journalistic integrity, it will all be tabloid-esque outrage and sensationalism.

    One to avoid.

  • Tom  Harrington

    Can't wait to tune in (not!)

    I don't doubt that the programme will get viewers, particularly those who are drawn in by the drama of it all but I do doubt that we'll learn anything about the PRS from this typically trashy episode.

  • Felicity Blair

    Isn't this idea for a TV getting a little tiresome now? Another show playing up to the stereotype that all landlords are greedy and dishonest, I certainly won't be watching.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Other than the cricket highlights, there is no other good reason to watch Channel 5. Programmes like this should be avoided at all costs. Low-rent, lowest common denominator, brainless, exaggerated dross that should never see the light of day.

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