A desperate landlord fears he could lose his home after a letting agent installed squatters in his rental flat and racked up £30,000 in rent arrears.
Max Christian (pictured,above), from Stockport, signed up his three-bedroom Camden flat with Camden-based London Residential in March 2019 but only received the first quarter’s rent.
He tells LandlordZONE that his nightmare began later that year when he discovered the original tenants had moved out and one of the letting agent’s employees had moved in.
“I eventually got them out by having their two Mercedes ticketed on the private forecourt and got the flat sold STC last year through another agency,” he explains.
“Then just before completion, new squatters appeared and new high security locks were installed so I couldn’t sell it with vacant possession. London Residential then rang to suggest I use them instead to sell the flat, as nobody else could access it.”
The squatters have now been in his flat for nearly a year and Max is owed more than £30,000 in rent arrears.
He’s handed the firm a Section 8 with the help of Landlord Action, but the situation is also complicated by the fact that the tenancy is in the name of the letting agent’s co-founder who lives in the States and therefore beyond the reach of the county court order Max obtained.
Max says Landlord Residential has twice acknowledged that the second set of squatters are under its control – once by offering to sell the flat with vacant possession and once by saying they won’t leave until forced by law. A recording of the conversation is available on YouTube.
Adds Max: “I just want my flat back so I can sell it and pay my bills as I have a mortgage on my own house too. I find it incredible that the law protects their rights more than mine, but I’m not going to give up.”
The experience has left him vowing never to let out a property again and resigned to the fact that the rent arrears will never be paid.
LandlordZONE has contacted London Residential for a comment.