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.