Letting Agent Physically Attacks Tenants [The Reality]

Violent Letting Agent

Have you seen it yet? Have you seen it yet? Have you seen it yet?

Man, I’m giddy right now.

There’s a savage video clip currently going viral on Twitter, of an unhinged letting agent, awkwardly galloping out of his shop to seek and destroy tenants with a sandwich board as they’re walking out the front door.

Funny-as-fuck stuff, because it’s so absurd (and no one was hurt).

I wasn’t planning on giving this incident much airtime (other than my meandering comments on Twitter), but I’ve watched this whole incident blast off like a rocket ship, and it’s managed to generate more comedy and talking points of interest than I ever imagined possible.

The video of the Letting Agent attacking Tenants

If you haven’t seen it yet, ‘ere you go…

It just goes to show, when everything is lost, and all seems darkness, only then comes the light. I was on the verge of throwing myself off a cliff over the prospect of having to blog about Energy Performance Certificates *shoot me now*, but then this little miracle happened. I don’t remember the last time a captivating incident occurred in this dry-arse industry. Yes, I know Section 24 – the dreaded change in tax legislation – startled a few of you, causing runaway toupees and irregular heart rhythms. That was also wild, but in a different way.

This incident has got the perfect balance of everything you’d want in these types of scenarios: comedy, action, suspense, absurdity, and no casualties. Beautiful.

So, let’s toss the obvious out of the way…

  • The agentanger issues, anyone? Fuck me sideways, what a 24-carat plonker. There is no justification for violence, especially in that situation. He was obviously goaded, but he shouldn’t have reacted that way. He seems unhinged and unfit for purpose. Poor bastard.
  • The tenant – he shouldn’t have called the agent a Wanker (even though it’s hard to argue the point after watching the situation unfold). He provoked the situation by being a mouthy little twat, but sadly that’s being overlooked because of what transpired.

We have a general consensus, agreed?

Let’s unpack the situation…

The problem with the entire Tweet/video is it lacks context, so it’s given free reign to the masses to speculate (which is almost always 99% inaccurate). Oh, and speculate they did!

Firstly, many have speculated that the galloping donkey is in fact an aggravated landlord that’s dealing with rent arrears, and not a letting agent. While it’s easy to understand how someone could arrive at that conclusion, it’s not true. The man dressed like my window cleaner, is in fact, the Director of Eaton Green Estate Agents. That was relatively easy to verify by Google and LinkedIn.

Obviously the glaring takeaway is that the agent reacted unprofessionally, and shouldn’t be in a position that entails face-to-face interaction with the general public. He needs to be probed, prodded, and handled with extreme care. He’s a Neanderthal. Of course, I wish him well on his journey to recovery.

But beyond that, as I watched the Twitterverse react, I couldn’t help but notice how the reality of the situation was being distorted and fabricated with misinformation, by the tenant that posted the Tweet and by an influx of other tenants that clearly have an axe to grind. Disappointing, but not terribly surprising.

Since Sarah (the tenant who originally posted the video on her Twitter account) brazenly posted the video with a loose and highly contentious caption, it allowed imaginations to run wild:

My estate agents attacking us this morning after we tried to negotiate with them against an illegal eviction @eatongreen

So while many have speculated with what’s going on, let’s actually grapple with the facts we have at hand:

  • Negotiating “illegal eviction” – unfortunately, many have and will read the Tweet and believe that agents can evict tenants.

    Letting agents do not have the authority to evict anyone, nor do landlords, legally or otherwise. It’s a common misconception, which makes tenants believe they have no rights *yawn*

    It’s like saying, “I’m trying to negotiate my way out of being arrested with my local butcher”

    Ultimately, it’s up to a Judge to decide whether a landlord has legitimate grounds for eviction, not the tenant, landlord, agent or anyone else. So no, these tenants were not negotiating an illegal eviction, despite what they thought they were doing.

    If they were being unjustly threatened somehow, they should stay put and take comfort in their legal right to Quiet Enjoyment. If any unauthorised activity takes places, they should contact the police. An agent cannot force entry or legally evict anyone (i.e. force a tenant to vacate) without breaking the law.

  • Let’s pretend we live in a world country where agents can legally evict tenants.

    The problem now is that she doesn’t clarify what she is describing as “illegal” (I’m not necessarily blaming her for it – each Tweet has a character limit – but it’s easy to see how this got messy).

    How can we be sure she knows what an “illegal” eviction is? What if she believes that landlords don’t have grounds for eviction after she continually takes steaming dumps on the living room carpet after a piss-up? What if the agent served them with a legitimate no-fault Section 21 notice?

    The tenants’ were subjected to unjustified violence, so naturally, many of the onlookers will be automatically compelled to believe they were being “illegally evicted” by the agent, even though no evidence was provided.

    Bottom line: we don’t know if an attempt of an illegal eviction was actually taking place, all we know is that a maniac needs tasering after being intentionally provoked. I’m sure more information will be released soon enough.

  • We have no idea what the issue is, what happened inside/before, or what kind of tenants they are. I don’t know why everyone is so quick to assume that the tenants’ have been in breach of contract (i.e. fallen into rent arrears).

    In any case, if I’m being totally honest, the loitering mob don’t really come off as shinning examples. Actually, screw the diplomacy, they come across as gob-shite, bratty, wank-stains. There, I said it!

    I wouldn’t want to deal with them (or the agents, just so we’re crystal clear).

    The fact that the incident was being filmed right before the agent was provoked is very suspect, and leaves a sour taste up my arse. But again, to reiterate, we don’t know what happened prior.

The victim(s) become part of the problem!

At first, I was inclined to defend Sarah and give her ignorance a pass. She probably didn’t realise her Tweet was destined to go viral, consequently didn’t put too much thought behind it. She was probably overwhelmed with emotion and traumatised by the event, and this was her way of fighting back. I was with her.

But then I took note of what she was retweeting on her Twitter account

(I have no idea who Ash Sarker is, but she has a fancy “verified” tick on Twitter and over 300k followers. So just imagine how much damage her Tweet alone will do, let alone all the Retweets? Screw her! The only thing out of control is her rancid little gob!)

*slaps forehead*

That’s strike two! Now I open up my editor and start blogging. Damage control!

There are two issues we’re dealing with here:

  1. One man’s act of lunacy (which does NOT represent an entire industry).
  2. An alleged case of illegal eviction enforced by an agent (which, quite literally, cannot happen if the tenants’ don’t want it to because of their legal rights).

Based on what we have seen in the Tweet’s video/caption, the statement “The private rental sector is totally out of control.” makes absolutely no sense, other than the fact that people are commenting on something they don’t really understand.

Anyways…

I can’t defend Sarah anymore, because she’s now part of the problem.

For sure, Sarah and her fellow tenants are victims, but they’re not totally innocent like it’s being largely portrayed. Moreover, she’s now got the wrong target(s) in her crosshairs.

This industry, like many others, has its problems, especially with bad actors. However, I can’t help but feel that her Tweets and Retweets are mostly based on misconceptions and ignorance of the regulations that protect her as a tenant, not to mention the complete disregard of the goading that occurred.

It appears as if she’s not quite sure what her rights are, and that’s resulted in reckless Tweets and Retweets, whipping thousands of equally unsure people into a frenzy.

By no means am I saying that all agents and landlords are innocent and decent people – we’re not – but what I am saying is that this specific situation makes it pretty easy to understand why and how so many tenants are quick to believe they have no rights, which directly correlates with why so many despise us [landlords and agents] for the wrong reasons.

It reminds me of the intended impact of the ridiculous image below – it was being pushed around by the far-right a few years ago, when Islamophobia was gaining momentum:

Many fell for it.

For those that aren’t hip-to-the-hop like I am, “this Muslim convert ISIS Solider” is Ice Cube, one of the most well-known and successful rappers in the world, with a flourishing Hollywood career. The entire campaign was no more than fictitious bullshit designed to be divisive.

The point is, it’s compelling to believe the captions when the visuals are so powerful, especially when they appease our own biases (and when we don’t really have a clue!). We’ve all been guilty of it.

To clarify, so no one craps their pants and tries to gouge my eyes out: by no means am I comparing the far-right’s intentions with Sarah’s, I’m just highlighting the impact of how the message is being delivered and how it effectively aids in convincing ignorant minds to believe in garbage.

The reality is, much of the negative connotations the industry deals with is stemmed from lack of understanding.

The disappearing act of the century

It’s been hilarious watching the Eaton Green Estate Agents frantically terminate their social media accounts after the video went viral, as they were quickly being flooded with negative reviews and well deserved abuse.

Eaton Green Estate Agents Twitter profile went from “Private” to “This account doesn’t exist” within minutes.

Similarly, their Instagram profile has been given the death sentence.

What does remain is their Google profile, and it’s continuing to get filled with negative and amusing reviews:

Eaton Green Estate Agents Google Profile

Update: it looks as though their Google profile has now also had the life snatched out of it!

However, the comment of the day has to be the one I found on their Facebook profile, which also remains standing (for now):

Eaton Green Estate Agents FB Comment

I’ll let the fact that Jordan, like many others, thought it was the landlord doing the whacking slide, because it’s an easy mistake to make. Plus, it’s still funny.

I have no idea if they’ll be able to recover from this, but I’m going to thoroughly enjoy watching them try.

Final thoughts: no one really comes off clean in this shit-show. It’s a truly sad state of affairs.

51 Join the Conversation...

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Judi 22nd April, 2022 @ 10:18

Sad to say my sympathies lie with the agent. Why were tenants filming, no doubt provoked him previously in my opinion. Any agent would rather receive landlord rent than evict. Lets be honest you only evict if selling property or you have a shit tenant. Why send to gobby Ash Sarkar who in turn slates the whole private rental system.
We are 67 and are now slowly selling our properties. Keeping the one that has tenants from 23 years plus they are like part of the family now!
The mindset of younger tenants is sadly poor and selfish now and does not compute with our fair give and take policy we have with tenants.
Lots of private rental properties in gloucestershire are being turned into air bnb now. The landlord has no support in this day and no doubt many more will decide to sell up with impending withdrawal of section 21 - our only lifeline.
Love your blogs we can identify so well

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raj 22nd April, 2022 @ 10:21

good on you lanlord you should have bangged him out the fucking scum

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Another landlorf 22nd April, 2022 @ 10:22

The agent wasn’t the instigator though it was the abusive tenant In the video. The agent ran outside triggered by the bevel abuse although it was the tenant who struck the agent physically not the other way around. The agent then picked up the sign to protect himself against an attack from a gang of thugs stood in front of him who had just punched him.

The tenant should be prosecuted for assault.

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Linfio 22nd April, 2022 @ 10:24

Falls to knees and thanks God that these are not my tenants tbh.

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Dudders 22nd April, 2022 @ 10:39

As we don't know what went on inside the office, we can only judge by what's filmed. IMO anyone who calls out an insult over his shoulder as he leaves deserves to be clocked. It's both deliberately offensive and cowardly and shouldn't be tolerated. As this has now rebounded against the agent, we're all encouraged to think the yob's behaviour is acceptable, when it isn't. Except that, of course, it is accepted as normal in today's generally abusive society.

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A Landlord 22nd April, 2022 @ 10:48

I can only say I am glad these tenants are not mine.

They have deliberately goaded the agent to engineer this footage and clearly a load of keyboard shit stirrers have taken up the cudgel.

I actually feel for the agent, because I would have reacted in the same way if called that by a tenant. It was clearly deliberate to try to detract from their imminent eviction.

Kick the b*stards out!

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John 22nd April, 2022 @ 11:11

The tenants are bad uns...

They were filming and verbally abusing the agent in his business in a clear attempt to provoke someone. The agent acted human and now has a social media backlash, probably losing his business (or at lest until the nuclear fallout settles). Its not fair for the tenant to get away scot free. I would suggest landlords in the area do the right thing and support this agent by continuing to use his services.

A tenant should have to follow the property owners rules and if they don't like it they should have to leave ASAP, within 30 days. Any damage done should have to be paid for by the tenant - end of story, in the same way any other rental business is expected to operate.

I don't go into a supermarket and expect the supermarket company to give me food for free simply because 'I need food'

I don't not return a car I've rented or decide to wreck it simply because 'I don't want to pay for my own vehicle'

Why should landlords be expected to put up with nonsense from bad tenants. Property is the landlords business.

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Lou Valdini 22nd April, 2022 @ 11:24

I enjoyed your amusing summary, although I would point out S21 is not 'no fault', it is 'no reason given'. A big distinction, and one which is deliberately used to support the anti-landlord rhetoric. Also, the process landlords must follow is torturous and lengthy, and can easily fail if not followed to the letter.

The agent was provoked; possibly deliberately, and lost his temper. But he's clearly been successful in this profession for many years, and if this had been his usual behaviour with tenants, he would have been out of business long ago. We don't know what went on inside, except he was called a 'wanker', but his age and experience should have made him the bigger man. I've no doubt he has kids of his own, but I can imagine how a bunch of 'oh, so clever, but know nothing' kids causing havoc at his workplace, possibly in front of new clients, could have caused him to flip.

It's sad that this will damage and possibly ruin his business, putting staff out of work, all for the sake of a few minutes social media fame, and of course, he will not be able to put his own account out there now they've left social media. I assume they still haven't been [illegally] evicted.

As for Ash Sarkar... immature, left-wing dog-whistling 'commentator' and regular Guardian contributor. Perfect channel for these kids.

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Alec 22nd April, 2022 @ 11:42

Nobody here knows what happened, so many of the above opinions are a bit pointless.

Landlord, what a well written piece. But you render some of it superfluous when you acknowledge that illegal evictions are a thing.

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Alec 22nd April, 2022 @ 11:53

Ash Sarkar is a lecturer who also works with the lefties at Novara Media. You'd love 'em.

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Cableman 22nd April, 2022 @ 12:36

There's always two sides to any dispute!
While this video may well entertain some, that's remember we don't have all the facts?
I too have experienced poor service from an agent, but also have had bad tenants who failed to respect my property!
Damage caused by bad tenants only to rely on the excuse they have no money to put right their handy work should not be allowed but this side of the coin is so often ignored, as that's fine with agencies acting on behalf of tenants?
So back to frustrated agents trying to provide a fair service, Maybe he was annoyed at being called names in order to provoke a response for the one sided video.

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Jennifer Surrey 22nd April, 2022 @ 13:11

I can only agree with everything in your blog. What a sad world we live in. I wonder what the actual landlord thinks about this video. Do we know that the "director" is not the actual landlord?

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Beer 22nd April, 2022 @ 14:42

Shouldn't of lost his rag over that insult.

Truth be told there are bad tenants, landlords and agents. You've got landlords that are so biased towards their own that they lose all perspective of fairness and respect. At the same time there are lefties that seem to think that all landlords are evil (all though tbh, in some cases they are not far wrong). Btw I'd class myself as a left leaning person.

Proper regulations and fairness are what is needed. But judging by the inept charlatans that keep being voted in I do despair. I mean I noticed the latest slogan, if you like, by this regime to win votes has morphed from "get Brexit done" to "send 'em all to Rwanda".

The oldest card being played and sadly, it'll probably work.

Rant over!

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Stealth Bomber 22nd April, 2022 @ 14:44

The shape of things to come. Lord knows what will happen when energy bills really bite.
Also may we have an extra category, entitled " ive already ran for the hills, Ex Landlord" 😁

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Simon 22nd April, 2022 @ 15:22

How anyone can justify the violent thuggery displayed by the agent is beyond me. I have no idea what was said and frankly don't care, because sticks and stones etc. He is clearly a big chap who no doubt likes acting the tough guy because he's nothing but a bully.

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Lou Valdini 22nd April, 2022 @ 16:45

Simon, while I can't condone violence, this was hardly thuggery. I didn't see the agent throw a punch or attack any of the kids, more like handbags at dawn! Please, can some of you get some perspective.

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Beer 22nd April, 2022 @ 17:03

Lou

The group are leaving the agent starts closing the door when the curse word is used.

Then the agent comes out in a "come and have a go if your hard enough " way. Aggressively approachs the one chap and, to me appears to throw a kick. The chap who used the word stands his ground. One guy (who I think is an associate of the agent) drags his colleague back. In the action the agent picks up the sign menacingly.Then also approachs the female with the camera.

Clearly thuggish behaviour you seem to be excusing. You are allowed to use reasonable force when faced with danger.

Sorry but your post comes across as biased.

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Lou Valdini 22nd April, 2022 @ 17:16

Beer, we are all entitled to our opinions. You 'appear to have seen' the agent kick someone, even though he didn't actually kick anyone. This confirms your bias in favour of the kids.

By the way, Get Brexit Done is still a slogan, and the Rwanda threat is having the desired effect. Just 30 illegal migrants landed today... in perfect crossing weather!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd April, 2022 @ 17:25

I've watched the video like a billion times, and it's quite difficult to determine who threw the first kick.

They both seem to throw kicks, and from the angle we can see, it does look like the agent raised his leg first, but I wouldn't say it's conclusive. One thing is for sure though, the agent was the aggressor and the tenant(s) was the provocateur.

Anyways, I'm pretty surprised that some people are able to justify and condone the agent's aggression. I personally can't condone the violence; he's meant to be a professional. I wouldn't use an agent like that.

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The Landlord 22nd April, 2022 @ 17:29

@Jennifer Surrey
Agreed, the whole incident is depressing, and another indictment of what's wrong in this world, to add to the list.

I read a Tweet earlier that made me believe that the director is *not* the landlord. But I don't know if that's a fact.

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Simon 22nd April, 2022 @ 18:08

Lou, if that wasn't thuggery I don't know what is. At one point he even picked up an A-board and threatened them with it.

If you've ever been threatened by someone like that, I can tell you it's a traumatic experience and is not justified because someone called him a rude word, which was probably justified anyway given the way this thug behaves.

Not sure what boat crossings have to do with any of this but as you mention it, the Rwanda threat is nothing more than yet another piece of Tory propaganda and lies to try and make it look like they're doing something, just like they wrecked the economy to make it look like they were doing something about Covid, ignoring all the recommended and agreed pandemic responses that were already in place.

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Lou Valdini 22nd April, 2022 @ 18:18

Simon, neither of us know this agent nor the kids who were clearly winding him up. Yes, he should have kept his cool (because he's an adult?), but assuming this is not normal for him (otherwise he wouldn't still be in business), what they said must have been extreme. This demonstrates the danger of social media, and how the young accept what they see and are told at face value. As someone who has suffered violence at the hands of thugs, I can tell you this was, literally, kids' play.

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Eric 22nd April, 2022 @ 18:37

Lou, violence can vary in severity, and it's also relative. Just because you have suffered worse that doesn't mean he didn't overreact or wasn't overly aggressive. Otherwise someone can compare their situation to yours and say your experience was mild. How insulting!

I think objectively the agent did act thuggish considering he is an agent at his place of work. I thought it was obvious he has anger issues. People getaway with terrible stuff their entire lives, so I don't think there's any anything there to make us believe that's not normal behaviour. I think it's more likely that he just got caught and has now been exposed.

What they said didn't sound extreme. The agent got triggered after he was called a wanker, that's hardly a reason to drop the role of a professional agent.

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Beer 22nd April, 2022 @ 19:15

Eric,
The Landlord,

Agree with the sentiments of your recent posts. I'm a Landlord myself but being one doesn't mean an automatic 'taking side's against the tenant' response and excusing thuggish behaviour.

Lou,

You can be a Landlord and still be fair. But clearly some of the "oh he must have been provoked so badly",
“I bet they done this, that and the other to the agent" brigade really can't see the wood for the trees - their bias being so strong they lose all semblance of perspective and are not that far of poster no:2!

And to be frank your post no: 18 stating the Rwanda stunt (clearly a stunt to prop up the votes after the utter contempt this Govt have shown to the public) is really effective, proves to me that you're one of those that lap up any unworkable, populist nonsense this regime cooks up on the back of a fag packet to blame Johnny Foreigner for their all their own failings. And as I suggested earlier, there is enough of your ilk to prop up this rabble. And it doesn't really surprise me that you're also excuse thuggish behaviour.

Anyway, this will probably go round and round in circles so I'll leave it there. I've got my thoughts of my chest.

Goodnight All

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Lou Valdini 22nd April, 2022 @ 19:26

Thanks, Beer. You see,this is the problem with left-wing views. You're in the right and anyone who has a different viewpoint must be far-right, 'thuggish' and wrong.

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Simon English 23rd April, 2022 @ 00:00

John as above, I could not say it any better!
A tenant should have to follow the property owners rules and if they don't like it they should have to leave ASAP, within 30 days. Any damage done should have to be paid for by the tenant - end of story, in the same way any other rental business is expected to operate.

I don't go into a supermarket and expect the supermarket company to give me food for free simply because 'I need food'

I don't not return a car I've rented or decide to wreck it simply because 'I don't want to pay for my own vehicle'

Why should landlords be expected to put up with nonsense from bad tenants. Property is the landlords business.

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Vijay 23rd April, 2022 @ 08:44

I can't believe the people in this section defending the agent. The tenant calling him a wanker was frankly, proven right. Just another reason to use online agents & not high street ones, I'd be appalled if I was being represented to my tenants by someone that unhinged. The lady might not quite know the law, but most people don't, there's no defense for him chasing after them as they've left his office.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd April, 2022 @ 08:58

@Vijay Agreed. I'm surprised at how quick people have been to defend the agent's violence and decide that the tenants' have been in breach of contract (i.e. they've fallen into arrears etc). We actually don't know the circumstances. Very alarming how people know everything without knowing anything.

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Vikki Baptie 23rd April, 2022 @ 11:47

Another thing to add to the list of reasons why I only rent to families and don't use agents... what a total shit show.

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Beer 23rd April, 2022 @ 12:18

@Vijay

Unfortunately, I can believe the comments. From my experience of being a landlord, and judging from speaking to fellow landlords and reading on forums, there are too many 'I'm alright Jacks' who too easily judge and speak disparagingly about tenants - it's all 'me me me' without much of a thought of wider social issues.

Of course you get nightmare tenants and you've got to be careful who you let to, but at the same time there are also too many landlords where clearly a few bob and properties have gone straight to their heads, resulting in them walking around in a 'loudsamoney' type swagger.

These are the types that almost cease to see tenants as human beans but just a small cog in their business. It would help if they can take their pompous noses out of the Daily Fail for a moment and see that young people today can't even get on the property ladder, never mind become landlords.

Sadly, I feel poster Lou Valdini is typical of this type of landlord - he's already hailing the Govt's Rwanda stunt as proving successful and seems to think that the left is all that's ill with the world. But if you look at it closly - if you listen to what leftists are saying and try to avert environmental disaster before it's too late - the small numbers trying to cross the channel will be nothing compared to the tens of millions of refugees, great swathes of the planet becoming unlivable will cause. So leftists actually want to prevent the causes of refugee crisis from occurring that future generations will have to deal with.

Of course there are also many fair minded landlords as some of the above posters have shown. But alas, too many tribal landlords where their automatic reaction is to stereotype and make exuses for the unacceptable behaviour portrayed in the video.

Just from my experience and wanted to get those thoughts off my chest.

Regards,

Beer (need more now)

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd April, 2022 @ 13:43

@Beer

I'm with you.

Also, I'm not sure why this became a political debate (left vs right).

Just in case anyone cares, I've always considered myself centre left *shrugs shoulders*

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Jon 23rd April, 2022 @ 14:32

Landlord,
First of all thankyou for your even handed approach to this 'incident'
Whatever the provoked the Agent their behaviour was wholly unacceptable and if I was a client of their company, I would no longer trade with them, if that's how they perform under a little pressure/abuse. I really wonder what happens with them when it gets to the violent/threatening end of the scale.

As for tennant's rights, provided they cannot be considered as 'vulnerable' in my mind the tennant has to take responsibility and get clued up, about THEIR rights and assert them in the correct way when necessary. That said it does not excuse landlords or agents who exploit this lack of knowledge or an ability to assert it.

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Alec 25th April, 2022 @ 09:54

This might enlighten, albeit with only one side of the story.

Awful, chippy tenants though, eh? Knowing their rights and seeking representation - shouldn't be allowed.

https://youtu.be/M9baEwKWmbU

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th April, 2022 @ 12:33

Urgh, that was very troubling to listen to.

If the tenant's version of the story is true, the agent is an absolute scumbag and deserves all the negative press.

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David 25th April, 2022 @ 17:51

Hi Flossy

As you know I represent both Landlords and Tenants, I see the worst of both sides, from properties being trashed by “professional” bad Tenants to violent forced eviction of wonderful Tenants who have not even been given a formal section 21 notice. 90% of the time I am able to help both side come to a mutually agreeable settlement, but only because we have the laws in place to make it the sensible route.

Before the pandemic I would be dealing with maybe 30 Landlord and 2 or 3 Tenants at any one time, currently I dealing with 80 landlords and maybe 9 to 14 tenants. I can’t unload casework all my colleagues in other firms are equally swamped and turning away cases that are slam dunk.

While some of this increase can be blamed on the Pandemic, I am inclined to agree with Ash Sarker that the private rental sector is out of control, but not totally and I think you gave poor Sarah a bit of a hard time, she re-tweeted the fact that someone picked up her original tweet. For this generation a re-tweet is like getting recognition by the Queen.

As you might have gathered that I despise the hate factory that is known as Twitter, anyone who has anything to do with it can only blame themselves, especially commercial companies.

However I would like to dismantle the article above to give it context and be fair to all parties.

Negotiating “illegal eviction” – Negotiating is the word because it turns out the Section 21 notice was issued by the Agent on behalf of the Landlord (Mistake 1 – USE A LAWYER).

It has been accurately reported from an interview with Sarah, that the Section 21 notice had only been served on one of the Tenants and it was also void because the Landlord was running an illegal unlicensed HMO. This will now result in the Tenants claiming for a 12 month Rent Repayment Order.

I had a very similar case recently of an Agent causing the worst retribution on the Landlord. The Agent was all sweetness and light until they decided to evict, they did not serve a Section 21 they send a 30 day letter telling the Tenant that all occupants were being evicted. When the Tenant (who had no arrears or any grounds under Section 8) questioned the notice not being a Section 21 Notice, he was given a veiled threat from the Agent that he would not be getting a positive reference if she did not leave and he did it in writing.

The Tenant duly left and when she asked for her deposit back the Agent ghosted her. I got involved and now the Landlord is facing 12 month RRO for unlicensed HMO and a claim for 6x the deposit which was never put in an authorised scheme. Of course dumbasses tried to create fake damages but Tenant was wise enough to take photos and even images in public domain show the alleged damage was there 2 years before the Tenant took occupancy.

Of course it is important for any Landlord and Tenant to know that an Eviction Notice is ONLY a letter of INTENT and NO TENANT WHO HAS AN ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY CAN BE EVICTED WITHOUT A COURT ORDER. Once the Notice expires, if it is not void the Landlord can go to Court to get such an order, that will take months and the Landlord is likely to seek their costs from the Tenant.

We can’t blame Landlords or Tenants for their ignorance, but a Court will expect the Landlord who is the Professional to comply with the law and to make sure they are complying with all laws related to their rental. This website should be bookmarked and any Landlord not signed up should do so immediately because if they take the time to read the site they can correct their legal defects.

Now you mention butchers, but I have seen cases where someone comes around with their family members and weapons have been used, I have also seen cases where £40,000 of damages have been awarded to the Tenant.

You are absolutely right to suggest the Tenant calls the Police if they are being harassed or facing forced eviction, unfortunately many Police Officers are a tad ignorant and think that such things are “civil matters”, so it may be worth any Tenant reading this to print off advice pages from Shelter or their Local Council, Tower Hamlets has a good page that sums it up well and any bobby could grasp.

You say there was not evidence provided of illegal eviction, actually what Sarah was describing as “illegal” IS ILLEGAL, the way a Court sees it is that there are prescribed legal processes (Sec8 and Sec21) and if you attempt to evict someone without following said processes you are attempting an illegal eviction.

Here is an example of the opening paragraphs of what one Landlord got from the Council after attempting to evict by text, (yes it happens all the time):

"We have been contacted by one of your tenants that has made us aware of an illegal eviction attempt. Please cease all action, and obtain solicitors advice.

Kindly be aware, that for an eviction to take place lawfully, you need to serve a sec 21 notice, giving 2 minimum months’ notice."

The offences you will be guilty of come under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

You might be guilty of both of the above criminal offences, I say this because almost every case I deal with has an element of harassment and the latter has a very low threshold. I come across lots of Landlords; they come in all flavours, from the meek who need me to give them courage, to the entitled wankers who take the "Lord" part of their title far too seriously. I can see some from the latter group have posted above!

BAD AGENTS make things worse, for an entitled Landlord as they magnify such entitlement, often because they want the business, while for the meek they say things like “we are the professionals let us deal with it” but the Landlord is culpable for their behaviour. I have long believed that Agents are a dying breed, you have covered the online agents and how that market is evolving, there is no doubt that the market is being disrupted. The roles will change and hopefully only the good will survive.

I have one case at the moment on their 5th void Section 21 notice, each one took two months to expire, some cases have gone to Court and been kicked out there, rendering the Landlord liable to legal and other costs incurred by the Tenant.

It is not that hard to get it right, since Pandemic and until October 2021 the Section 21 notice used to have the notes embedded within the form, these explained the perquisites more clearly, now the notes are downloaded as a separate file (my advice is to download both and serve both).. One of which is serving the latest HOW TO RENT guide from the .GOV website. If more Landlords and Tenants took the time to read this there would be less problems.

Personally, in my experience, such an Agent may well come around banging on the door, letting themselves in and attempting forced eviction. They clearly appear to have anger management issues. Violence is never acceptable unless you yourself are in genuine danger and in fear of your life.

The person who said “Well done Wanker” had exited the offices of the Agent, they were not facing the Agent and it is not event clear whether it was banter to one of the Tenants. What is clear is that the “Window Cleaner” exits the office, pushes through people, hits the person and then attempts GBH and is stopped by one of his employees.

I gather that Sarah has reported the matter to the Police; the two employees have accepted a caution for their poorly fitting cheap suits and their terrible haircuts. They are still gathering evidence and watching the video from 4 different angles to determine what charges to bring against the person(s) who committed an assault.

Now here is the SHOCKER, the person who said “well done wanker” was NOT one of the Tenants, he was a representative of the Renters Union, there to explain to the Agent why the Section 21 was void and yes trying to negotiate. I am not sure that the use of the word wanker is helpful, but as I said it may not have even been addressed at the Agent. Even if it was it does not justify his response or his squeaky voice.

The Tenants may be “wank stains” but even wank stains have legal rights. It is true that we have no idea why the Landlord wanted to evict them, but I ALWAYS advise Landlord to use the correct procedure, i.e. Section 8 if there is cause/fault and Section 21 where there is no fault.

Do not jump to any conclusions; it was already assumed that the “gob-shite” comments came out of a Tenant’s mouth, is it bratty to be shocked at the expression of violence?

As for being filmed this is standard behaviour these days so assume you are being recorded, it has been very helpful in this case as it has provided evidence. I always advise people to at least record the audio so they can make good notes, such audio recordings are not admissible unless the Landlord / Tenant denies what is said in the notes at which point the Judge may well ask for them

The fact that the Tenant was recording in the office was fine because it was obvious she was doing it openly, the Agent could have asked her to refrain or he could have had a CCTV in the office and she may have been recording to provide her own copy of what was said.

That sour taste up your arse is last night’s curry, you have no rights to prevent recording in a public place, just look at the plethora of “audits” on YouTube. The younger generation record everything, I would advise Landlords to expect it and to say “If you don’t mind I would like to record this meeting so that we have an accurate record of what is said, I would be happy to provide you with a copy or you may make your own recording”.

I think Sarah deserved more than a pass, she was shocked by the violent and intimidating behaviour of the Landlord and it seemed that the recording is the only thing that stopped his violent approach towards her. Let’s examine the “bratty” behaviour, this is what she says

“what the fuck”
“what the fuck”
“what the fuck”
“what the fuck are you doing”
“you piece of shit”
“are you alright”
“do not touch me”
“would you hit a woman”

One of the other people says

“wow he fucked himself now”

Which is probably true.

I think they were quite restrained considering the level of aggression.

I say well done her for standing up to him, in my opinion he is a thug and should sell his half of the business to his partner.

As for twitter, I totally despise it (except for videos of Russian tanks in receipt of NLAW), personally I think that all comments and videos on Twitter should be moderated UNLESS the users have got themselves a “fancy” verified tick. I also think that liking any negative comment should be banned as these can exacerbate or cause profound mental health problems. If everyone was verified we would not have these fake troll accounts, foreign state hate mongers and users would be legally liable for what they post.

Elon Musk may have put Twitter into play, he talks about his motivation being free speech, I would prefer “accountable speech”. If he just phased in verification, made comments from unverified accounts subject to moderation and banned the liking of negative tweets, it might be a platform I had some time for. I still think it is a dangerous place for any business, one entitled or offended customer and you are toast.

“One man’s lunacy” will likely mean his reputation is finished, he seems to be a 50% owner and the company has just one property available for rent on their website.

“Alleged case of illegal eviction” the activities ARE considered as illegal eviction, we will never know all the details but illegal HMO and illegal S21. If you are not legal you are illegal.

You can’t defend Sarah any more but what did Sarah actually do, film a violent incident, use milder language than we do on this site and re-tweet a re-tweet of her own tweet. This seems to be most people do on Twatter.

I am sure that if you made a comment and it was re-tweeted with an astonished comment by a property investor or @PhilSpencerTV you would re-tweet his tweet even if you did not necessarily agree with what he said. It is all about engagement and amplification of a conversation.

Personally I can’t take Twitter seriously because amongst all the entitled, offended and outraged, it is far too easy to manipulate, there are bots and keyboard warriors with their own agendas.

So I look elsewhere, first stop Trustpilot, no listing for Eaton Green which is a good thing, next stop All Agents. This is not so simple, 80% of bad reviews for any business on any site tend to come from annoyed customers, which is why people use the paid side of sites like Trustpilot to encourage customers who had a positive experience to comment.

I ignored most of the recent reviews on All Agents that were mostly to do with the video Sarah posted, there is one recent one I would like verified by All Agents because it does suggest the person was a Tenant with typical experiences mirrored by other reviewers.

I am not going to repeat them all here but there seems to be two themes, entering the property without consent or notice and making grabs on the deposit.

Eaton Green only seems to have responded to a couple of the bad reviews and they name four tenants which I find reprehensible as only one made the review. This is an utter failure in managing bad reviews.

To me it shows that this Agent seems to feel entitled to make claims on the deposit that Tenants feel are unwarranted and in one of the cases the TDS dismissed the claim

There are some positive reviews too, mostly from people selling, but I would advise anyone interested to go have a look at all 30 reviews and make their own judgement.

You are of course right that the “lunacy” does not represent the whole industry, but it does not take much of a percentage for people to think that “The private rental sector is totally out of control”.

Consider the cases I am managing right now include:

Forced eviction, harassment, intimidation, sham 2 month licences with forced eviction, void section S21, deposit not protected, illegal HMO extreme harassment, , tenancy agreement with all landlord obligations removed, some tenants not even given a tenancy agreement, heating disabled, smoke alarm removed, deposit not returned or protected, no statutory notices provided, water leaks not repaired for several years, false claims on withheld unprotected deposit, fake claims made to deposit protection schemes. Landlords turning up without notice, works carried out without notice or consent. Court eviction process used to intimidate even though notified that it was void, heavies turning up at the door, filming and following of tenants by 3rd parties. There are actually two more cases that I can’t mention to protect the innocent and because they are going through Courts but they are both incredibly extreme.

In all of these cases the Councils are useless, they only seem interested in Tenants to whom they owe a housing duty, yet for many it is the Council who should be bringing the legal action.

I could keep the press entertained for months with some of the behaviour I have seen. Worst still some Landlord and Agents event carry on the harassment with emails, texts and voice messages. I have heard recordings that would chill your spine made by Tenants literally hiding under their duvet.

I am not sure you can know that “they’re not totally innocent”, there is this tendency these days to “blame the victim” and just because someone else made a comment against the PRS it does not make the Tenant any less innocent in the illegal activities of the Agent. I do not see it as goading and with respect having a camera seems to have been prudent, remember that the Tenants had experienced the behaviour of this Agent up to the point of the issue of the void section 21. Also consider that his behaviour followed a failed attempt to mediate by a 3rd party.

What you are absolutely right about is that Tenants are not aware of their rights, but this is what the How to Rent document is for and the Shelter website is a good place for Landlord and Tenant alike.

I don’t think her first tweet was reckless and you only mention her re-tweeting one re-tweet of another person, whose opinion you feel is exaggerated. So maybe Sarah should not be your target but Twitter itself.

Also Sarah has posted a real event not a made up image, she made one factual tweet and re-tweeted someone’s comment on her original tweet. I am guessing that right now, after the behaviour of the violent Agent she might be in agreement with that person who thought the whole PRS was out of control.

I have a very good rate for reaching settlements but there are still this really foolish bunch who insist on going to Court where not only do they get trounced in sanctions or penalties but they end up paying 5 figure legal fees and costs.

“The disappearing act of the century” – this too was a mistake, for all their sins the company could have had the obviously fake reviews removed and they could have got a response formulated by a third party (as they clearly have a problem with engagement).

Personally I hope that they ditch the aggressor, if they don’t then they don’t deserve to be in business. How many other Tenants have to be subjected to the aggression of the Window Cleaner (I have not named him there as I am a nice person; he already shat the bed big time and I would not want to mete out more punishment!

Again your conclusion is right, to borrow a phrase, “shit show at the fuck factory” and It does not matter how much provocation one receives other than being hit yourself, you do not hit people, END OF.

Now to the comments of others:

Judi, many Landlords evict via S21 so they can increase the rent without going through rent review.

Raj is obviously a delightful Landlord, I look forward to one of your clients engaging me when you next break the law.

Dudders, there is no excuse for violence END OF, you ass-u-me it was a Tenant who said “Well done Wanker” when it was not.

Even if they goaded, it may be that they had experienced the kind of behaviour that has been reported on All Agents about this estate agent during their tenancy and so they wanted to catch any aggressive behaviour.

The question you should all be asking yourself is whether you want such an Agent managing your property, considering the Landlord in question is now facing serious sanctions and penalties.

John, the Landlord and the Tenant should both comply with the terms of the Tenancy Agreement AND the LAW, the Section 21 was VOID, it was an illegal eviction out of an illegal HMO.

Learn a lesson from their mistakes, check yourselves before you judge others.

Lou Valdini, if you ignore the current reviews on All Agents and only look at the historic ones this is hardly a successful business.

If the video shows how short his temper is and how aggressive he is (which mirrors the real reviews online) then he deserves to lose his business. If I were a magistrate and he was appearing before me I would put him inside for 6 months, he would be out in 3 and hopefully learnt that his behaviour is totally unacceptable.

Don’t know or care who Ash Sarkar is, but she is entitled to her opinion, left, right or in the middle.

SIMON I totally agree with you.

Lou I downloaded the video and he does appear to hit the person who said “well done wanker” he also picks up an advertising board and would likely have used it had his colleague not stopped him. Thank God they had the good sense to record for their own protection. I have seen cases of extreme violence from Landlord and their Agents, if it was happening to your sister, daughter son or mother you would agree with Simon

Flossy I have downloaded the video and also watched it a lot, the Police will have the recordings from the other phones, but the Agent is the one who runs to the Mediator, puts his arms out wide, then moves toward the Mediator as if to hit him, judging by the movement of the mediator’s head the Agent landed a punch. The Magistrate is likely to determine that the Agent is as fault because he ran out and made the situation worse, had he brushed it off and remained in his office he would still have a business. saying “well done wanker” does not entitle a person to hit you.

Simon English, you can’t make up rules, any terms you put in your Tenancy Agreement must be equal, valid and fair, if they contradict any common law they become unfair contract terms and void.

There is no Landlord putting up with anything in the video, there is no Landlord, just a violent Agent who has ruined his own business by he own extreme and aggressive behaviour.

Vijay I agree with you except the Mediator did not even call him a wanker, he said “well done wanker” he was well out of the premises at the time and in a crowd of other people, he could well have been addressing the other young chap.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th April, 2022 @ 19:30

@David

Holy moly, what a tangent.

I'm going to side-step a lot of what you said, because much it doesn't contradict with what I've said and/or it's you sharing your experiences and doesn't require a retort. But I will say this:

1) "You say there was not evidence provided of illegal eviction, actually what Sarah was describing as “illegal” IS ILLEGAL"

Yes, but that was clarified AFTER the video was posted and this blog post was written/published, hence why I said I was only commenting on the information we had a available [at the time]. There was no evidence, just the caption in a Tweet.

Same applies to the fact it was only disclosed afterwards that the "wanker" comment came from a union rep.

Again, that's why I think posting the video in such haste was reckless. Sarah could have taken her time and created a thread clarifying. Instead, people got a snapshot of the incident and made assumptions based on their own biases.

2) "The Tenants may be “wank stains” but even wank stains have legal rights"

A large part of this article is about tenants having legal rights.

3) "is it bratty to be shocked at the expression of violence?"
Nope.

That's why I never said that.

My bratty comment was referring to the person that said "Well done wanker"

4) "you have no rights to prevent recording in a public place"
I never said that either.

5) "So maybe Sarah should not be your target but Twitter itself."
Nah, I feel I targeted Sarah and Ash justly.

I'm not going to blame Twitter for enabling a Retweet function.

As said, based solely on the video, there was nothing to suggest that, "The private rental sector is totally out of control." That was my point.

So should no one be responsible or judged for what they Retweet?

The whole incident was awful, but that alone wasn't a reflection of the rental sector.

If I posted a picture of two black people fighting on the street and added the caption, "The black community is out of control", and people Retweeted it in agreement, would you think that would be sensible? Certainly not. Would you judge them? Yes (at least, I would hope so).

Cheers,
F

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Chinny Reckon 26th April, 2022 @ 08:26

@David,

TLDR

“the Mediator did not even call him a wanker, he said “well done wanker” he was well out of the premises at the time and in a crowd of other people, he could well have been addressing the other young chap.“

Chinny reckon!

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David 26th April, 2022 @ 09:23

@Flossy

I thought it was a big leap to connect ISIS to a tenant and I think the above example is a big leap too. I get that choosing extreme examples can highlight a point but I don’t think it works here.

I believe that the issue is that Twitter magnifies and people hooked on it are usually far too invested in opinions that simply do not matter in the scheme of things.

I think this situation is a prime example of how things can go bad, Sarah raised a shocking event, the violent thug got everything his deserved or will get, so let's put that aside for a moment.

Your case shows exactly why what I was saying about liking or re-tweeting negative stuff should be banned. It could easily be moderated by the community with an a report negative button, that would hide the comment and send it to moderation.

Sarah made valid comment, Ash re-tweeted something negative and you felt it personally, but was it really aimed at Landlords or was it at Agents?

Does Ash really understand the PRS, how most Landlords are accidental, a couple of singletons get together, both have a flat so they rent one out when they move in together.

As a rule I do not generalise, the sector is clearly has rules and laws, but is it totally controlled or totally out of control, I don't think so and that applies to both Tenants and Landlords.

Tenants do not know their rights and even when they do they are scared because they worry about retaliation, the Tenant is almost always the underdog. Revenge eviction legislation is pathetic; first it only applies if the Tenant had first reported issue to the Council, when the natural thing to start with is to inform the Landlord of the issue. Second because even if a Tenant had called the Council, not only does that piss off the Landlord, but the so called protection is only a 6 months delay in issuing a S21.

At the same time most Landlords are not wealthy and can be ruined financially if just a few things go wrong, boiler, flood from Tenant above, their own tenant wrecking the place and it taking 8 months to get them out with no rent coming in throughout.

The fact is that Agents are not regulated; do you know how many Agents use Tenant's deposit as cashflow? How many screw up the deposit protection and PI, how many fail to tell Landlords when they stop the insured based scheme or leave it as a poison pill if they are disengaged from managing a rental? How many Landlords are happy with the so called "inspections" carried out by Agents that fail to notice damages. What about the ones that insist works are required (which they uplift by 20%) when all that was needed was a washer.

Just thought probing here, but how bad would it be if all Landlords and Agents had to be licensed? Nothing too onerous at first, start with a registration at your local Council at say £100 a year, then be offered paid courses as some Councils already do. Gain access to schemes where the Council guarantee your deposit and damages (which some Councils already do). For 90% it would end there, but for the rogue landlords who really think that the Law does not apply to them, the ability for the Council to fund proper enforcement and a reporting system. Landlords and Councils could work hand in hand rather than the adversarial system where hearing from the Council is a concerning thing.

Think about it, we require taxi cabs to have a security check before they are allowed to carry passengers for a 20m journey, surely a lone or several females are far more vulnerable to a pervy Landlord because they are legally contracted to remain for a year or more. I had a case where such a letch used to turn up almost every day to a single mum with three kids, he just felt entitled and that is the issue.

Consider Housing Associations (I deal with several), the good ones have turned themselves from a sloppy manager of Council Houses into a process driven service business. They are getting massive economies of scale and are then able to leverage that into buying competitors.

You don't find HA's walking in and showing people around, you don't find them making a grab on deposits (albeit that they tend to take much smaller deposits and are exempt from deposit protection). You don't see them forcing entry, evicting by text message or the plethora of other things I mentioned in post above that the bad minority of PRS Landlords do.

At the same time they do not provide flooring, curtains or appliances, most provide a budget for decorating materials if the Tenant wants to improve the property, this small act gives the Tenant an investment in keeping the property in good condition. Obviously there are toe rags, but again they have processes for that because they often have experience of dealing with some very troubled and vulnerable individuals.

As for Agents, make membership of ARLA mandatory for a start, then do background checks on the owners and management and again a license from the Local Council, other countries do this already.

I should not complain because I make my living mostly from helping Landlords extricate themselves because they did not see their property as an investment and as a business.

I honestly think that most of the issue here is twitter, one person makes a generic statement (never a good idea) and another re-tweets it because she got noticed by a person with the modern day currency of followers. It is that simple.

You jumped in defending the good guys because of the generalisation, although the re-tweet of Sarah probably went to a much smaller audience that that of Ash herself.

Then a few of your membership jumped in wanting to flog the tenants, most jumped to wrong conclusions and some brought up some genuine concerns about the filming. However, now we know that the conduct of the violent thug extended into entering the property, without consent and continued to do so when asked not to. He completely ignored the right to quiet enjoyment etc that you cover at the article below.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/my-tenant-wont-allow-me-into-the-property-for-viewings

So for me it is the Twitter platform which is the problem, which is why all users need to be verified users so they become accountable for what they post. All unverified can simply have their content put through moderation.

Seriously, people tweet such toxic stuff and lemmings re-tweet it or like it, that's why I have nothing to do with it. Now that Elon Musk has bought it maybe he will clean it up and make it accountable speech.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th April, 2022 @ 09:25

I didn't connect ISIS to the incident. I made that very clear:

To clarify, so no one craps their pants and tries to gouge my eyes out: by no means am I comparing the far-right’s intentions with Sarah’s, I’m just highlighting the impact of how the message is being delivered and how it effectively aids in convincing ignorant minds to believe in garbage.

I didn't make the leap, you did...

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Beer 26th April, 2022 @ 10:07

@The Landlord
@David

In my honest opinion lads - I don't think the private rental market is totally out of control but there are way too many dodgy landlords and agents out there. And some workable, well thought out regulations - perhaps as David is suggesting, could improve things somewhat.

Also, @The Landlord - you provide great advice and I've learned a lot from your blog. Now I've said that I can completely effin trash you now lol.

But seriously pal, I thought the ISIS and the Black community examples were not really befitting or advanced your argument very well.
I know you weren't saying you thought those things in those examples - just don't think they were good comparisons.

So in conclusion, better regulations are needed, in my view, to weed out or pacify the charlatans in the sector.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th April, 2022 @ 10:13

@beer

Thank you, appreciate it, and that's fair enough :)

The ISIS example was the only one that came to mind because it's quite a famous example. I considered it a good demonstration of how a random image and misleading caption can be decisive. It had nothing to do with the subject matter, but rather the method the message was delivered.

Not sure why people focused on the content of the example, rather than the strategy. But oh well.

Agree to disagree!

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Beer 26th April, 2022 @ 14:42

@ The LL

Ah f*** it!

At least your blog is the only one in its area to keep us, entertained with info interspersed with regular jokes and bad language!

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David 26th April, 2022 @ 23:48

@Beer

It really is one of the best blogs out there, there are very few blogs that are effectively a free "business in a box", honestly it is all here if you take the time.

Whenever I come across someone considering buying property to let or letting their property I refer them here.

I really enjoy the way Flossy is able to describe things in ways I would never get away with.

At least he has not used Sharon Stone Basic Instinct as an example or he really would be in trouble!!

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Chris 27th April, 2022 @ 14:48

For what it is worth the tenant, Ms Warsama, describes herself as "an activist with the London Renters Union".

Her piece entitled 'Why We Stood Up to the Estate Agents' is here:-

https://tribunemag.co.uk/2022/04/why-we-stood-up-to-the-estate-agents

As you'll see the article begins by saying "Predatory landlords who buy up homes and paint them magnolia before putting them on the rental market for extortionate prices are rightly despised ...". Ah, magnolia paint. The surest sign of predatory behaviour.

Anyway her article says that they (the tenants) were, "In an attempt to force us out .. served with what we recognised as an invalid eviction notice along with unjustified fines".

It is certainly not impossible that the letting agent might have cocked up the s21 notice but if there were errors contained within it then the tenant could have pointed these out in an email [or indeed said nothing and let the landlord launch legal action which would only fail if the s21 notice were indeed deficient] but it seems that Ms Warsame and her housemates accompanied by 'representatives from the London Renters Union' preferred to attend at the lettings agents place of business to make a bit of a scene.

What with the short fuse of the elderly chap in the blue hoodie it could have ended up a lot worse than it did. That cafe's A-board might have been horribly damaged if he had used it to strike one of the activists in the teeth.

This particular 'Renters Union' had best be careful with these kinds of shenanigans though. There was an instance recently where the Acorn Union - or their insurers - had to stump up £100K in damages after a campaign of harassment against a landlord and the tenant concerned, Ms Aya Hoez, ended up being injuncted and having to pay costs. It's discussed over on a newsround post on Tessa Shepperson's landlordlawblog here:-

https://landlordlawblog.co.uk/2022/04/08/landlord-law-newsround-239/

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Beer 27th April, 2022 @ 16:43

@Chris

"That cafe's A-board might have been horribly damaged if he had used it to strike one of the activists in the teeth."

The above quote by you is not funny and, quite frankly, lacks class. Further more, easy to sit and type it. In the actual event, the lad stood up to the aggression; it was then that the aggressive agent picked up the board. Credit to his colleague in the suit attempting to calm the situation.

Of course there are always two sides to the story - but some of the unbalanced 'commentary' I've read about this event has made me ashamed to be a landlord. Views which further exacerbate divisions in society rather than provide sensible solutions to real issues.

The tenant say they experienced bullying behaviour outlined in the article you linked. If this is true, then that is totally unacceptable. Everyone has the right to representation by a Union in those circumstancescircumstances as long as correct protocols are followed. Obviously, the swear word shouldn't have been used.

You've got to listen to people's grievances and issues and attempt to find solutions, such as post #35 by David, who I believe is a legal professional. It is only then that the reputation of landlords will improve. This 'them and us' situation where people feel unfairly treated isn't the type of bitterly divided society I want to live in.

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David 27th April, 2022 @ 19:20

@Chris

You are welcome to disagree with her politics and her paint preferences, but if you want people to take you seriously then be informed, for a start you might want to watch the video posted above, here it is in case you missed it.

https://youtu.be/M9baEwKWmbU

They are professional agents and should be able to do a S21 with their eyes blindfolded, but if you listen to the video you will see that three men from the agency entered the property with their own keys and were showing a fourth person around.

It seems that they have been doing this for years according to All Agents Reviewers, this one is from 2012:

"If you enjoy people walking into your home to view without any notice for months before you move out - Eaton Green is the estate agent for you!"

in 2017 another All Agents reviewer said

"An agent from this company let himself into my property without any notice whatsoever AFTER THE PROPERTY HAD ALREADY NEED LET - no appointment, not even a knock on the front door. I walked around the corner to find him walking into the master bedroom at 6pm.

My children are completely spooked and I am suffice to say thoroughly angry the invasion. This is about as unprofessional and a company can get. An absolute disgrace of an agency."

There were far worse reviews but I will leave you to go checkout those yourself.

Eaton Green Estate Agents had no right to do this without consent and it was failing to provide the Tenants with quiet enjoyment of the property, a common law going back hundreds of years that has been reinforced by modern law and case law.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/tenants-right-to-live-in-quiet-enjoyment/

The tenants are three young females, one was not long out of the shower, another was in bed. Her housemates locked their bedrooms and the agent tried to unlock the doors from the outside.

They did protest to the Agent via email and the Agent responded that they could do what they want.

If she is an activist it is likely this experience that made her one. She did not know the law about showing people around, covered at link below and had to contact the London Renters Union for advice

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/my-tenant-wont-allow-me-into-the-property-for-viewings/

She said in the video that they had been very "standoffish" when emailed.

So on the (poor) advice from the London Renters Union they went there to serve a letter outlining the legal position with a letter from the LRU.

It also said it wanted to come to an agreement that they would not just walk in, quite ridiculous to have to get an agreement for someone abusing your rights.

My advice would have been to write a very strong letter to the agents, inform them that due to their abuse the locks have been changed and the original locks will be restored when they leave. I would include an invoice for the cost of a locksmith to change the locks which they felt had to be done due to the profound harassment and intimidation. I would give them 7 days to pay that invoice and file a money claim online if it was not paid.

In a normal situation I encourage Tenants to give two slots for viewing per week for up to an hour one day midweek and for two hours on Sunday. I advise they limit it to one person per viewing and time slots of 6 minutes for first viewing and 12 minutes for second viewing. If the Agent does not agree then consent to view can be removed completely.

Apparently Mete Kadir Enver, the violent thug in the video who committed the Assault, started to suggest at the meeting that the Tenants needed to prove that they were Tenants, asking for Bank Statements, Tenancy Agreements etc. or we are not speaking to you. Saying they were random people and could be anyone. She alleges he was aggressive and did not want to come to any agreement.

Mete Enver surely carried out right to rent obligations on behalf of the Landlord before he let the property to them. One would have thought he would have recognised them when he forced entry into their home the day before.

According to Sarah what made him "flip" in the meeting was that she pointed out he was renting out an illegal HMO, no license existed or had been applied for so that there is 12 months rent repayment order.

She goes on to say that prior to this incident she was just a private member of the London Renters Union as were a lot of her friends. Something that many Tenants should consider, especially as for many students this would be their first rental, they would not know their rights and the cost is not a lot. They could also have a visit at Shelter and Landlords should look there too so they know what kind of advice their Tenants are getting, this site covers almost everything but it is good to get the perspective of the Tenant Advice.

As I said above, a defective Section 21 rarely has just one issue, my record is 8 consecutive S21's that were issued and found to be faulty, that is 14 months longer than it needed to be. Also the Tenants often find related issues such as a failure to protect the deposit or serve the Prescribed Information, covered here

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

or Illegal fees under Tenant Fees Act 2019 covered here.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/tenant-fees-ban-act/

Where I do agree with you Chris is the turning up mob handed to their office, although I do understand how after having three men make an illegal entry into their home they felt they needed moral support. However, I would not have advised going at all, if the LRU knew it was faulty it was enough to serve notice of same and the email would suffice.

I gather that they went in because the S21 was about to expire and they foolishly thought that they had to be out by that date, when nobody with an AST can be evicted without an Order from the Court. A S21 notice is just a form that can be downloaded from the .Gov website.

Knowing that the S21 was defective they should have emailed the Agent to inform them they would not be leaving because of the defect, I advise my clients to do this the day before the expiry or the day after. This is in line with Civil Procedure Rules.

Some Tenants and Landlords are intimidated by going to Court, I know one Specialist Eviction firm that has a habit of bringing defective claims just to intimidate, they then pull out at the last minute. It is an expensive strategy for the Landlord and does not bode well for their case as it continues

According to the video LRU emailed the Agent before turning up, so the Agent had the chance to just back down by email and be done with.

What is clear from Eaton Green Estate Agents All Agents listing is that they have this habit of just walking in and others also complain about them making a grab on the deposit, so hopefully Sarah and her housemates took video at the beginning and will again when they leave. Eaton Green will need an inventory checklist before and after, done in the presence of the Tenants or the Court or ADR of deposit scheme will kick out the claim.

Finally Chris, I think calling a 46 year old man elderly is a bit of a stretch and I don't think your veiled incitement to hitting someone in the teeth with an advertising board helps.

Most Landlords just want a decent relationship with their Tenants, they want the rent paid and the property looked after really well. There are a few Landlords who can't be organised or are too busy, or are genuinely elderly, other than these groups I think Agents are just in the way.

I also think that most Landlords and Tenants are decent folk, some Landlords OTT on the entitlement front, some Tenants live like pigs, do not clean (themselves or the property) and they cause serious damage that is often extremely difficult to recover.

I do think Landlords need to keep it civil, treat Tenants as customers but at the same time remember that familiarity breeds contempt. The key to this is setting out the expectations upfront, do regular inspections, do tenant referencing and for goodness sake comply with the law.

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Chris 27th April, 2022 @ 19:31

@Beer,

My apologies to you and anyone else who might have been offended by my clumsy attempt at humour. My thoughts and prayers are, of course, with all of the people who were wholly uninjured in the dreadful incident - and with their loved ones, etc, etc.

The bullying behaviour referred to In Ms Warsame's piece is said to consist of or at least include "situations where people would allow themselves into the property while we were asleep in bed or in a state of undress". It doesn't say who these people were, though. Were they staff employed by the lettings agent, workmen sent around by the lettings agents to do repairs or friends and associates of her housemates? Who knows? Certainly not me.

Ms Warsame is, of course, a student. [https://www.goldsmithssu.org/democracy/elections/manifesto/5317/]

Probably her housemates are students too.

Is there an hour of the day in a shared student house when at least one of them isn't in bed or loafing around in their jim-jams?

Of particular concern [to the estate agent and landlord] is the allegation that the property lacks an HMO licence. If this is indeed so then Ms Warsame and her housemates should be rubbing their little hands together with unalloyed glee at the chances of being able to get a rent repayment order. Or perhaps they'd be conflicted at the prospect of such unearned wealth which would, once paid over to them, make them as bad as the filthy capitalists that they so rightly despise. Filthy, filthy capitalists with their luxury and comfort and magnolia-painted walls. Bastards, all of them.

Naturally I am sorry that, for whatever reason, you feel ashamed to be a landlord. Don't really see why the comments of others should make you feel that way though. I see plenty of what I consider to be poor driving but it doesn't make me ashamed to be a motorist. If it is any consolation though I feel reasonably sure that if you were Ms Warsame's landlord she would probably still hate you (on principle), even if you were the gentlest of souls and a true prince among landlords. As you no doubt are, of course.

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Chris 27th April, 2022 @ 19:47

@ David,

Just for the sake of clarity, as it were, I'd like to make it clear that in my view all lettings agents, without exception, are thick-as-mince greedy bastards. And that Mr Mete Kadir Enver seems like a bit of a nutter flying off the handle as he did over the use of that most charming of everyday British-isms, 'wanker'.

There is nothing in your post that I disagree with. If the landlord or his agents insist on coming in whenever they please without prior appointment then change the locks on them.

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Chris 27th April, 2022 @ 20:49

@ David,

Having said that the tenants should not hesitate to change the locks if the landlord/the agents insist on coming round without prior appointment I suppose it might be different if the tenants held not a joint tenancy for the entire house but individual tenancies for their own rooms with permission to use the common parts (kitchen, bathroom, hall stairs and landing, lounge etc). You say that there were three female students in the house and the lettings agent attended to show a fourth person around. If there was a vacant fourth bedroom in the house (as sometimes happens in shared student houses where one tenant drops out of University or moves in with a partner) then why shouldn't the landlord or agent show a prospective tenant the vacant room? If the tenants only have tenancies of their individual rooms does not the property's front entrance door become equivalent to the entrance to a block of flats? Common courtesy would, of course, suggest that the existing inhabitants should be given notice of the viewing just in case they should be cooking or eating or whatever. Obviously no excuse readily suggests itself for the attempted entry into one of the existing tenants own room - but if I were to look for one it might be that the agent was confused as to which one was the vacant room. It is not unknown for a tenant in a shared house to make a grab for a bigger or better room if one becomes available.

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Beer 27th April, 2022 @ 20:58

@Chris

Your, ahem, post #47 (needless to say) is little more than reductive, over generalising rhubarb. In fact the hefty dollops of sarcasm was so bad - it actually is quite funny.

Of course I'm no angel. But I like to treat human beans as human beans (lol), and give them a fair chance and analyse real problems people are facing.

Without going off on too much of a tangent. You mention capitalism - well every system can evolve and improve. Perhaps take a look at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website and read what they have to say about the exisential threats we all face and how much more needs to be done. It's better than 'down the pub' level lazy stereotyping of students or whatever other group.

As for the renters union hating all landlords. Well, I've already emailed them to discuss the issue. I've had a cursory look at their website and I can see their trying to help renters left in dire straits, especially after the pandemic, and protecting and advising them against agent/LL harassment. I'm sure I'll survive.

Sometimes it's good to see others point of view. Anyway, enough of this internet warrior-ship, it doesn't really change anything in the real world. I bid you goodnight.

It's been emotional!

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Dave 3rd May, 2022 @ 19:41

Handbags at dawn.
No charges were brought by either side.

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