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TV must-watch: programme exposes sub-letting scam

Channel 5’s Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords programme, now in its fourth week, this evening looks at a serial bad tenant and a sub-letting scammer. 

In one case study, landlords Terry Sartin and Helen Miller have both been unfortunate enough to have had dealings with the same nightmare tenant who doesn’t pay rent. 

Terry has been trying to get rid of his tenant Sophia for five months and she now owes him £8,000. Eviction day finally arrives and despite a standoff, he finally gets his property back. However, Helen Miller is seen in the programme still battling to get her out. 


That’s because while still living at Terry Sartin’s rental property, the tenant took out a tenancy with Helen also. Aside from a £900 deposit, landlord Helen hasn't received a penny since. After a tense court case, she finally wins a possession order - but will the tenant leave without causing more stress?

The second case study features Lesley and Mark Irwing, an elderly couple who were supplementing their income by letting out a second property. 

They took on a tenant who, as single mother, had fallen on hard times. A few months into the tenancy she got very behind with her rent complaining of financial problems beyond her control. But it turns out the tenant is in fact a scammer working a sub-letting scheme, conning students who needed to move into the area by advertising the Irwing's address as a rental property, taking deposits off them and then refusing them entry.

She managed to do this over and over again until the law eventually caught up with her and she was arrested and charged. As the programme reveals, she served four months on remand and was given a suspended sentence for theft and fraud.

The show - which features amongst others Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action - is on Channel 5 this evening at 9pm. 


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