Working with Letting Agents

A Landlord’s Guide to Letting Agents and their Fees   Paul Shamplina, the landlord’s friend and founder of Landlord Action, has devised this helpful guide for landlords exploring what they need to know about letting agents.   https://youtu.be/NZYhv1Qa_PM
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What does Right to Rent mean for you?

The government has announced that from 1 February 2016, all private landlords in England will have to check new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property. Under the new rules, landlords who fail to check a potential tenant’s ‘Right to Rent’ will face penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant. The new law will mean that private landlords, including those who sub-let or take in lodgers, must check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country to avoid being hit with a penalty. In this video Paul Shamplina from Landlord Action talks about Right to Rent immigration checks which is the new law brought in by the government from the 1st February.
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Court call centres fuelling possession delays says Landlord Action

Since reporting a year ago that under-resourced county courts were overwhelmed by the number of possession claims being put forward, Landlord Action says the problem has not improved and is now being compounded by the use of call centres run by inexperienced temporary staff.  They warn other practitioners “If you want an answer quickly, be prepared to chase.” Twelve months ago, Landlord Action employed a full-time member of staff solely to follow up claims made to the courts. They wanted to ensure they continued providing clients with an efficient service, despite the challenges via third party delays.  However, with further court closures, it now transpires that some county courts are operating call centres, where temporary staff, with little or no experience, have been appointed to process claims and correspondence. In a recent routine phone call to follow up a case, an operator informed Julie Herbert, Head of Legal at Landlord...
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Landlords and tenants in despair as Oliver Knights shuts shop

Landlords and tenants are in despair as a London letting agent, Oliver Knights, is thought to have closed down, owing thousands of pounds in unpaid rent and holding deposits. Landlord Action had been instructed only weeks ago to recover more than £10,000 for one landlord and £8,000 for another, but with signs the company has ceased trading, and more cases coming to light on a daily basis, the outcome is looking bleak. In 2010, Mr Tan Chun Keung, purchased a property in Canary Wharf as a steady stream of retirement income, appointing a letting agent to manage his property, which he maintained worked well. However, when the tenant moved out and the property was advertised as vacant, Mr Tan Chun Keung received a call from Oliver Knights claiming an international bank had offered to rent the apartment for their staff at market price for a period of three years. Although...
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1.5 million tune into Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords

Into its fourth week, Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ is growing in popularity with viewing figures of last week’s episode hitting 1.5 million. This week, a serial bad tenant and a subletting scammer will highlight the need for landlords to take action at the first sign of things going wrong. 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.  Landlord 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 with Sophia, he finally gets his property back. However, Helen Miller can be seen still battling to get her out. Four months ago, while still living at Terry Sartin’s, the tenant took out a tenancy with Helen also.  Aside from paying the £900 deposit, she hasnt...
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Landlord faces agent who owes her £20,000

Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ is set to show how one rogue operator gives good letting agents a bad name. Margaret Wilson faces the agent that owes her £20,000 in a perfectly captured showdown on Wednesday 8th July at 9pm.

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Three landlords face financial ruin on Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords

The second episode of Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’, due to air on Wednesday 1st July 2015 at 9pm, will feature three separate landlords all facing financial ruin as a result of troublesome tenants. Calling on the expert help of Landlord Action to help regain possession of their property and chase outstanding arrears, Founder Paul Shamplina uncovers the stark reality of tenancies gone wrong. The leading story follows builder Franc Coutinho, who has been renting his property out in North London for six years without a problem until his latest tenant, Shuaghxi Fu, moved in. Within six weeks, problems with paying the rent began with the tenant reporting false issues with the boiler to avoid paying rent. Despite numerous visits by plumbers to the property, when rent was due, the boiler mysteriously stopped working. Unable to take anymore and facing financial ruin, Franc starts the eviction process. However, when...
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Landlord has the last laugh

We regularly come across cases where tenants have fallen on hard times and rather than communicate with their landlord for fear of losing their home, they instead choose to avoid paying the rent until the landlord reaches breaking point and the end result is eviction. This is why we always try to encourage landlords that come to us asking for help with problem tenants, particularly cases with rental arrears, to try and engage in dialogue with their tenants and understand the reasons behind the lack of payment.  Sometimes this can be enough to save the professional relationship and work out a payment plan that suits everyone. After all, if a landlord has a tenant who has been in their property for some time and has taken good care of it, it can be more beneficial to be understanding and support the tenant to get back on course than to get...
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Landlord Action raises £18,000 for charity at "Rumble with the Agents" boxing event

On Thursday 21st May 2015, Landlord Action hosted a first for the property industry - a white collar charity boxing event. It was a sell-out success with nearly 300 estate agents, landlords and developers attending to help beat the fundraising target and collect more than £18,000 for Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. Whilst guests enjoyed a three course dinner, the twelve boxers from Savills, Life Residential, The Heron Group, Panther Securities, Winkworth, Infiniti Properties, Fraser and Co and of course Landlord Action’s very own Paul Shamplina, kept the crowds on the edge of their seats (some out of them and standing on them), demonstrating all the time and effort they have put into training over the last four months. Special guest John Conteh, a British former boxer who was world light-heavyweight boxing champion, ran a live auction with everyone ‘digging deep’ for some incredible memorabilia.  Items included signed football boots, boxing...
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Landlord Action against MORE court fee rises

The Ministry of Justice has proposed to charge 5% of the value of the claim to all court cases worth more than £10,000, which it estimates will bring in an extra £120m a year. A further consultation has also opened on extra charges for possession claims and general applications in civil proceedings. Possession claim fees will rise by £75, which the fee for general applications will go up from £50 to £100 for applications made by consent and from £155 to £255 for contested claims. These increases will apply equally to all applicants. We at Landlord Action are absolutely opposed to each and every one of the justifications given by the Ministry of Justice for enhanced court fees. Our responses to each of these are details as follows:- Consultation justification: -          The fee remains low, compared to the overall costs of litigation; Landlord Action response: The market place for practitioners...
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The pitfalls of Buy to Let - BBC programme

There was an interesting programme on recently about Buy to Let.  It was on the BBC as part of its Inside Out series of programmes. The programme focused on the fact that a lot of people still believe that Buy to Let is a great way to get a good pension pot, which it is; however it showed that its not always a walk in the park! There can be major pitfalls to becoming a landlord and it can cause some major headaches!  70% of landlords are amateur landlords and according to Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action there has been a 30-40% increase in evictions recently. We have recently had a situation where our LHA tenant had her housing benefit stopped. She refused to go to the council to fill out a form to get it reinstated.  Therefore we have had no rent paid to us since July 2014.  She has also...
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"Court delays costing landlords thousands" says Landlord Action

Landlord Action says under-resourced county courts are exasperated by the number of possession claims being put forward, resulting in costly delays for landlords.  The leading tenant eviction service says it has become such a problem in the last 3 months, that chasing up cases with the courts is now a full-time role for one member of their in-house legal team. The vast majority of residential possession claims are dealt with in the county courts and enforced by county court bailiffs.  However, Government spending cuts, an ever growing number of possession cases (predicted to be up 15% on last year, according to Landlord Action) and the enforcement by some courts that bailiffs must no longer act alone, only in pairs, have combined to create serious delays in the eviction process, according to Julie Herbert, Head of Legal at Landlord Action. “We are forever chasing courts for updates on possession orders, Notice...
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Landlord Action says tackling ‘retaliatory eviction’ needs more resource to guarantee accuracy

Landlord Action’s latest figures show a 30% rise in claims for possession under Section 21 over the last six months, raising concerns that Government plans to tackle ‘retaliatory eviction’ will require greater resource if it is to find a fair solution for both landlords and tenants. Rogue Landlords Applying pressure to rid the market of rogue landlords who exploit tenants is imperative. In principle, Landlord Action fully supports plans to stop ‘retaliatory eviction’, acknowledging that as a firm, they too have experienced a minority of landlords who would prefer to evict a tenant complaining of disrepair to a property, via a Section 21 (S21) notice, rather than carry out the necessary work. However, Founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, has two main concerns: Firstly, he believes the complexities with determining what is deemed ‘reasonable repair’ will require consideration on a case by case basis to avoid landlords’ possession claims being...
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Extortionate court fee increases will impact landlords

Landlord Action has lambasted Government plans to increase court fees as “extortionate”.  The planned changes will take effect from 22nd April 2014, where fees for possession claims will see one of the largest increases at 60%, and could spark a stampede of possession cases in the next two weeks from landlords trying to beat the rises.   Currently the application for possession, which is used after service of a section 8 notice, costs £175, the same as an accelerated possession claim used after service of a section 21 notice. From 22nd April, this will increase to £280. The possession claim online (PCOL) service which can only be used after a section 8 notice on rent arrears grounds, currently has a substantially discounted fee of £100. This will rise by 150% to £250, making the discount for using the online system far less appealing. The Government has stated “the benefits brought...
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Chasing Your Ex-Tenant

   From dealing with landlord and tenant cases from the age of 18, while working for a firm of solicitors, I’ve seen a lot with regard to bad tenants and rent collection.  But I must say since I started Landlord Action in 1999, in the last 6 months our Rent Recovery Department has never busier in respect of ex-tenant tracing to a new address and rent recovery, like issuing small claims summons, attachment of earnings, third party orders, information hearings, charging orders and bankruptcy demands, which we offer for fixed fees and is carried out by a qualified solicitor. I believe now landlords are less tolerant with tenant owing rent arrears and want to chase tenants down to new address and try and get a money judgement against them and enforce it at court, even on some cases when they know it will be very hard to collect, but want a...
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Paul Shamplina takes to BBC Radio 4 to voice concerns with "Rent to Rent"

On Wednesday 16th October Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action appeared on BBC4’s You and Yours show, to highlight the shocking risk to landlords of the latest money making strategy to sweep the property industry, “Rent to Rent”.  It’s a simple concept: Rent a house, then sub-let the rooms to sub- tenants and make as much profit as possible.  This will be available to listen to on BBC iPlayer This is a mushrooming phenomenon which has seen hoards of “experts” writing blogs, books and seminars on how to get started and even running courses costing up to £500 on how to bring in tens of thousands of pounds with virtually no out-lay. One such “guru” includes Daniel Burton who claimed he earned £35,000 a month from the get-rich-quick scheme.  Last week, The Guardian revealed he has gone missing, leaving tenants and landlords across London hundreds of pounds out of pocket. The idea behind...
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Property Expert, Paul Shamplina, helps mop up the mess of generation rent

    On 18th July, founder of tenant eviction specialists Landlord Action and leading property expert, Paul Shamplina, will be featuring in a one hour documentary, ‘Meet the Landlords’ on BBC 1, looking at the possibilities and pitfalls of being a ‘generation rent’ landlord.    Landlord Action, an organisation which has acted on more than 20,000 problem tenant cases, says the buy-to-let boom, which has lead to over 8.5 million people in the UK now living in a rented property, is the result of a cocktail of factors. These include; a lack of house building, less affordable housing, restricted funding in the mortgage market forcing more people to rent, tougher austerity measures leading to cuts on housing benefits, stagnant wages, increased cost of living and rising unemployment.   The documentary will meet the new army of private landlords who are riding the rental boom, both making and losing money as they...
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Social landlord speaks out on housing benefit nightmare tonight on BBC’s The One Show

  A landlord from Bracknell, Berkshire, has spoken out about her nightmare ordeal after her housing benefit tenant failed to pass on the payments. This issue has been widely reported and discussed within the buy-to-let industry but now a landlord has come out publicly to talk about it. The non-payments left Mrs Trivedy and her self-employed partner in an extremely difficult financial position. As a result of the welfare reforms and implementation of Universal Credit thousands of ordinary landlords fear that they will see more of this kind of problem. It is expected to affect the whole country and BBC1 are covering the issue on The One Show tonight, Thursday 2nd May at 7pm. They will feature Mrs Trivedy and Landlord Action, the problem tenant specialists, who she went to for help. After meeting her current partner, Mrs Trivedy decided to sell her four bedroom house in Bracknell from a...
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"Relief for thousands of landlords thanks to Court of Appeal Rule" says Landlord Action

The Court of Appeal’s decision that rent paid in advance does not count as a deposit in the long-running case of Johnson v Old, will bring much welcomed relief to hundreds of landlords, according to Landlord Action.
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Landlords rejoice at news that squatting is to become a criminal offence

The Landlord Syndicate, a network of companies providing a complete support centre for landlords, are relieved by the news that squatting is to become a criminal offence as of September
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