This week’s episode of ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ will show how just one rogue agent can give other, conscientious ones a bad reputation.
Margaret Wilson is to come face to face with the unscrupulous agent that owes her £20,000. Mrs Wilson owns a couple of rental properties in Oxfordshire and two years ago, she decided to put them under the control of agent Carl Afilaka of Christopher Stanley Lettings Ltd.
Initially, everything was in order, with Mrs Wilson receiving monthly payments from the agent. However, after the first year, despite tenants paying rent to Mr Afilaka, he in turn stopped paying Mrs Wilson. As a result, she is now owed around £20,000.
Investigations into Christopher Stanley Lettings Ltd has found that Mrs Wilson was not the first person to be scammed by Afilaka. Other landlords have complained of their deposits not being securely registered or not returned, with others citing violent behavior.
Mrs Wilson contacted Trading Standards and the police, both with no successful outcome. After a few fruitless months trying to contact Mr Afilaka, she eventually got in touch with Landlord Action’s debt recovery department. With the help of founder Paul Shamplina, Mrs Wilson finally gets to confront the rogue landlord face to face.
Landlord confronts rogue agent who owes £20,000
‘For a number of years, our debt recovery department has been taking legal action for landlords against rogue agents that withhold rent owed to landlords for their own business and cash flow purposes,’ said Mr Shamplina. ‘It infuriates me that any agent is able to get away with this whilst causing so much distress to a landlord. It can often discourage them from using a good reputable letting agent in the future.’
‘All landlords should do their research with regards to finding a good agent, making sure they belong to an association such ashttp://www.arla.co.uk/ or NALS, that they are registered with a mandatory redress scheme and, most importantly, that they have client money protection insurance in place. Landlords can also look for the SAFEagent logo which will give them a peace of mind. This way, if ever the instructed agent was to go out of business the rent and their tenant’s deposit would be insured.’
See Mrs Wilson give Mr Afilaka his comeuppance tomorrow at 9pm on Channel 5.