Ben Reeve Lewis learns of a new scam.
I like to keep readers up to date with new property scams as they come in.
After 26 years in this game I still see new ones and this one from earlier in the week may be of interest to landlords around the East End of London.
I can’t name names in this because there have been no prosecutions but just one disgruntled tenant with a matching landlord severely out of pocket and an abject lesson to do your research before signing up for services.
The story starts
Ms B rents a property out to tenant F who isn’t the best of tenants, so Ms B decides to evict but nervous of the pitfalls of getting it wrong she gets her son to search around and find an eviction service and comes across a company run by Mr K.
Mr K assures her that he is a solicitor specialising in eviction proceedings and that for a fee of £1,700 he can do everything from service of notice to overseeing the lock change by county court bailiffs.
To further reassure her of his honesty the deal is half the money at the start, half when the locks have been changed so duly impressed Ms B hands over the first installment and gives Mr K Royal assent.
The deed is done
And Mr K is as good as his word. He serves notice and changes the locks under a warrant thus collecting the full balance.
Trouble is…..start to finish of this legal process is exactly 2 weeks.
He does indeed serve a notice and then turns up with a bailiff’s warrant that when shown to me is as clear a forgery as you’ll see outside of a Specsavers advert.
The scam is revealed
Off we trot to the office address provided and there is no sign of Mr K or his company.
Landlord stuck with one illegally evicted tenant who she has had to let back in and is £1,700 down the Swannee.
It’s the first time I’ve come across this scam or Mr K. It may be a one off or he may wander all over London doing the same in different areas using different names.
Thing is you only need to get one every now and again to make a reasonable living. These days it is so easy to get scammed and so many scammers operate in property.
How to avoid it happening to you
Always do some checks if you have never heard of the company or individual before. I ran his company name through a free website called Dellam (allied to Companies House) and saw it was dissolved a couple of years back.
That simple check that took me a few minutes could have saved a lot of heartache. Cheap is not always cheerful.