Landlord faces agent who owes her £20,000

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.

Margaret Wilson owns two rental properties in Oxfordshire.  Two years ago she handed them over to letting agent Carl Afilaka of Christopher Stanley Lettings Ltd of Bicester, Oxfordshire. Things went well for the first year but then twelve months ago, despite the tenants regularly paying the rent to the agent, Mr Afilaka stopped paying Margaret the rent owed to her. Now Margaret is out of pocket to the tune of £20,000.

A quick view of Christopher Stanley Lettings Ltd on “All Agents” reveals that Mrs Wilson is not the first person to be defrauded by this man, with claims of deposits not registered with a tenancy deposit scheme, not returning deposits, non-payment to contractors and violent behaviour.

At her wits end, Margaret tried everything to get the agent to pay up; she contacted Trading Standards and even called the police with no success. After months of desperate phone calls and emails to the agent without response, Margaret contacted Landlord Action’s debt recovery department.  With Founder Paul Shamplina at her side ready to serve a letter before action for the outstanding monies, Margaret finally gets to confront Carl Afilaka face to face.

Mr Shamplina of Landlord Action comments: “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. 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 agents in the future.

All landlords should do their research with regards to finding a good agent, making sure they belong to an association such as ARLA 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.”

Catch tenacious Margaret walking up and down Bicester High Street with a sandwich board warning other landlords of this rogue agent as she prepares to face a cowardly Carl Afilaka on Wednesday 8th July on Channel 5 at 9pm.

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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