Dodgy landlord practices - has this happened to you?

 Fake Landlords and sub tenants.

Imagine renting out a property you have yourself signed a tenancy for. It sounds unlikely but there are so many ways people are prepared to slice a cake to get the most out of it.
Recently, a house, rented to two people was sub-let by them to a whole host of families, each family with a room in the house. So, the actual landlord had a large number of people living in his tenanted property who he had no knowledge of or contract with! The families had been duped into signing fake contracts with the couple who were meant to be living there. All the people, through no fault of their own, were evicted. It’s outrageous but symptomatic of an industry where there is always someone finding another way of making an extra buck or two!
Many years ago, we had sold a vacant flat in one of the Regency period squares in Hove. Two days before completion, we had a call from the owner of the first floor flat in the property next door to say some people had moved into the flat we had sold. We went around and discovered this to be the case: a young couple met ‘the landlord’ in the Wick pub, who signed them up for a month’s rent plus deposit, all in cash. He took them into the flat through the back door (he had previously broken in so the door was unlocked), then left them there minus their cash. When we told them they would have to leave, they were in a state of shock as you can imagine. The police and we helped them out by storing some of their household goods until they could find a legitimate flat. I don’t think that ‘landlord’ was ever found but thankfully for the actual buyers, the flat was vacant, with new locks, on completion!

As a tenant, don’t be conned into parting with your money in a pub to a ‘landlord’ geezer…if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Paul Bonett F.N.A.E.A. M.A.R.L.A.