The long-awaited new series of Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords’ launches on Wednesday 17 February at 8pm. This 10-part series, filmed prior to COVID-19 restrictions, follows the frontline work of letting agents, eviction specialists and lawyers helping landlords chase rent arrears and get their properties back; as well as council housing enforcement officers clamping down on slum landlords taking advantage of vulnerable tenants.
The first episode features a 13-hour siege by squatters, a guarantor stitched up by his own son, and a landlord, Allen Summerskill, who calls on the help of eviction expert Paul Shamplina from Landlord Action because his tenant owes £16,000 rent arrears.
Allen Summerskill bought his flat in Croydon over 15 years ago as a buy-to-let investment. Just four months into this most recent tenancy, his tenant stopped paying rent. Despite serving a Section 8 notice, the tenant refused to move out, leaving Allen with no option but to call in the bailiffs. As shown in episode one, the tenant tries to stall the situation by going back to court on the day of the eviction, but the judge grants in Allen’s favour. With Paul’s help, Allen finally gains possession of the property, but he is in for a shock once he gets through the front door.
Talking to Allen ahead of this week’s show, he said: “I’ve been a landlord for quite some time and on this particular occasion I went against my better judgement. The tenant said she did not get on with her previous landlord and I should have pursued for a reference but didn’t – it was a mistake. I am just so grateful to Paul and his team for everything they did. Had Paul not suggested we go back to the court that day, the eviction may not have gone ahead when it did. Shortly after, the pandemic hit, and I would now be faced with a further 18 months without rent and without my property. With the current debt and damage to the property, I’m already out of pocket by £20,000.”
Paul Shamplina comments: “I’m so pleased that the latest series is finally airing because the stories we have featured will really resonate with a lot of landlords – there are some shocking cases. It is not just troublesome tenants, but also some rogue letting agents too, and we really want to keep banging the drum about the necessity for landlords to carry out thorough due diligence at all stages of the lettings process. Obviously COVID-19 has changed the landscape of evictions at present, but the mistakes are nearly always made at the start of, or even before, the tenancy.”
Watch Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords on Channel 5, Wednesday 17 February at 8pm