A London lettings agency is exposed on TV this evening over what turns out to be a sham guaranteed rent scheme.
Landlords Suketu and Minesha Patel own a three-bedroom property in East London. They used a local letting agent to manage their property and signed up on a guaranteed rent scheme.
However, after receiving only one month’s full rent, payments became sporadic, before stopping altogether.
Minesha Patel says: “I would call the agent to follow up on where the rent was and suddenly, he would transfer a nominal amount, sometimes £300, sometimes £100, but never the full £1,800. He claimed he was paying us from his own pocket as the tenants had not paid rent. However, the agreement we had was supposed to guarantee our rental income regardless of whether the property was occupied, or the tenants had fallen into arrears.”
When the agent became increasingly difficult to contact and arrears reached nearly £7,000, the Patel’s contacted Paul Shamplina at Landlord Action - his programme, Evicted! Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords, is on Channel 5 this evening at 10pm.
Shamplina himself says: “The prospect of guaranteed rent, also known as a rent-to-rent scheme, can seem like an attractive proposition to landlords, saving them the trouble of dealing with voids, rent arrears, and eviction.
“However, across each series of the show, I always make sure I expose the problem of guaranteed rent or rent-to-rent, and try to educate landlords about this sector of the industry, because significant pitfalls remain for landlords if they choose the wrong company. Clearly more needs to be done.”
There is another rogue guaranteed rent operator, also in London, featured later in this series of the show.