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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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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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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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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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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Paul Shamplina named amongst 25 most influential people in property by Daily Telegraph

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action and member of The Landlord Syndicate, has been placed fifteenth in a list of twenty-five of the most influential people in British property as reported by the Daily Telegraph. Other movers and shakers within the industry include well known property presenters Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, and even Prince Charles.
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Landlord Action welcomes Government clarification of the deposit protection law

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, the leading legal services company helping landlords with problem tenants, comments on planned Government changes to the current deposit protection law. Mr Shamplina comments “These are very welcome changes to the tenancy deposit legislation allowing landlords and agents to file the deposit within 30 days of receipt, compared to the current 14 days.  Still at Landlord Action, we experience many landlords that do not know or understand the deposit scheme when instructing us to carry out an eviction of their bad tenant, but hopefully this will go some way to clarifying this to landlords. “I am also in favour of the abolition of the mandatory three month penalty to landlords if the deposit is not correctly registered. We have seen a huge rise in the number of tenants making applications to the court in an attempt to gain three times the deposit with one...
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Claimants of Local Housing Allowance rise but landlords want out

  Latest Government figures reveal significant rises in the number of private tenants claiming Local Housing Allowance (LHA). According to Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, a company specialising in tenant eviction, more must be done to re-balance the rules and subsidies in order to encourage landlords to support this important part of the private rented sector (PRS), rather than pulling away from it as many have threatened. An uncertain economy on the brink of slipping back into recession has not only forced flat-lining wages, increased cost of living and rising unemployment figures, but pushed even more households into the category eligible to receive LHA. Paul Shamplina comments. “I am not at all surprised by the figures revealing dramatic rises in tenants claiming LHA, as these sit in line with our own experience of carrying out more evictions against LHA tenants than ever before.” Rise in claimants The Government figures...
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Landlord Action sees 11% rise in instructions against defaulting tenants

Landlord Action, a company specialising in tenant eviction, are starting to see the effects that rising unemployment and the increased cost of living are having on the rental sector as their number of instructions against defaulting tenants has risen by 11% year on year. A recent report from Templeton LPA suggested that although cases of severe rental arrears are up 13%, the impact of this has yet to filter through to landlords, with total buy-to-let mortgage arrears cases falling by 12% in the last year. However, Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, believes that landlords are in fact feeling the increasing pressure on their finances as a result of defaulting tenants, but are simply less tolerant than they might previously have been which explains the rise in instructions seen by Landlord Action. Paul comments “Tenants are stuck in a catch twenty-two situation.  Lending criteria requiring large deposits has locked many...
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