One of the highest profile figures in the rental sector says rogue letting agents should be named and shamed as a warning to innocent landlords who risk being conned.
Paul Shamplina, founder and head of Landlord Action, is also the key figure in the Channel 5 reality TV show Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords.
A programme later this week will feature three cases which Shamplina says will show “a new breed of dodgy letting agents targeting small landlords and tenants alike.”
One case study in the upcoming show involves Susan and Gary Bailey, who bought a buy to let and were approached by a letting agent with a promise of hassle-free, guaranteed rent.
Having instructed the agent, the Baileys discovered his website was a copycat of a legitimate agency and before they could complain the fake agent broke into their house and changed the locks, remodelling the property and letting to tenants of his own.
Another case study couple - Monwara and Mohammed - hired a letting agency which then went on to keep their tenant’s rent. With a new company name above the door, the couple confronted the staff who went on to claim ignorance about the original agency.
Finally the programme looks at professional publisher Daniel Chira who thought his property in Romford was in safe hands with a local managing agent - until the company stopped passing over the rent.
“Agents who get up to these kind of criminal activities need to be named and shamed and hopefully this episode will help raise awareness among landlords about the kinds of scams they can fall victim to if they’re not careful” says Shamplina.