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New Channel 5 programme exposes subletting scam

Stay tuned tomorrow evening at 9pm for the first in a six-part Channel 5 series about subletting.

‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ follows eviction specialists Landlord Action and council teams from across Britain as they deal with problematic tenants and dishonest landlords.

The show will uncover horror stories of home-owners battling to take repossession of their homes from tenants who refuse to pay, and landlords exposed for the poor and unsanitary living conditions of their rental properties.


The first episode looks at two separate subletting cases which have cost the landlords involved thousands.

As previously reported on Landlord Today, 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 sublet it to several different tenants. When the couple went to the police, they were told it was a civil matter.

Susan Bailey said: “It was the most awful experience that consumed our lives. He sent heavies round to warn us and broke into our property on more than one occasion, yet we were powerless to stop him. We genuinely felt like we were going mad. How could we be ignored by the authorities when something so wrong was happening?”

The Baileys are more than £16,000 out of pocket and have subsequently learnt 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 tenant Jecintha Rahman, she started to sublet it. However, she was actually taking deposits and upfront rent from unsuspecting subtenants 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.

Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina said: “We’ve been in this business for 15 years and this series could run and run if it were to uncover all the unsavoury behaviour which occurs in the buy-to-let industry. Hopefully the cases highlighted in ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ will give a balanced view of the issues that can occur on both sides and remind landlords of the importance of thorough due diligence.”

The series will run for six weeks, every Wednesday on Channel 5 at 9pm starting on 24 June 2015.

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  • Daniel Otton

    Rent to rent has the potential to ruin the PRS. With a lack of regulation for these operators, standards will slip in an effort to make a quick buck.

  • Kenny Sahota

    So Channel 5's aim is to inform landlords 'the importance of thorough due dillgence'. Hmm not sure if that's their only aim. It's yet another programme setting out to create an unnecessary and unrepresentative caricature of the landlord figure. I understand that showing the pleasant and honest landlords wouldn't make great TV, but yet another show, I'm getting a little tired of it if I'm honest.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    "standards will slip in an effort to make a quick buck"

    Isn't this already happening? Can standards slip any further?


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