Landlords and letting agents are often painted as the bad guys of the rental sector, but a new TV programme attempts to balance out this view with tales of nightmare tenants alongside the more frequent rogue landlord exposés.
The very worst of the rental sector is laid bare in Channel 5’s Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords (Mondays, 9pm) that sees landlords and letting agents dodging machetes and unearthing cannabis farms as they attempt to collect rent.
The opening programme followed pensioner Jack Wood who was seeking to recoup 14 months of rent from his tenant. When Mr Wood visited the one bed flat in Lancashire to collect the £5,000 he was owed, his tenant refused to pay, threatening him with a machete and setting his ‘vicious’ dog on him.
Mr Wood, who had bought to flat to supplement his pension income, secured a court order with the help of a lawyer that enabled him to evict his tenant. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the tenant was none too pleased to see the officers, who were met with a barrage of furniture, a fridge, sofas, bins and even a washing machine that the tenant threw from the first floor flat.
Once the officers gained entry to the flat, they found a collection of machetes, knives and a replica firearm.
Another story followed letting agent Paul Ainsworth Lord as he chased up rent arrears from a tenant who owed £3,000. When he turns up at the property to collect the rent owed, he finds the tenant has changed the locks. When he does gain access he finds exactly what they were hiding – a cannabis farm.
The programme also covers rogue landlords and letting agents, but for many in the industry who have experienced their own nightmare tenants, it will be refreshing to see the other side of the story being told.