Enfield Landlords

Landlords Across London Beware!

We have received multiple reports of a new craze of well-organised gangs from Eastern Europe targeting Landlords with litigation scams. This 'take-your-house scam' is sweeping boroughs like Croydon, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing, Hillingdon, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forrest, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Barnet & Harrow. This is their modus operandi:

1/. They scour London streets for houses with 'To Let' signs.

2/. They present questionable photo ID cards, typically EU national ID cards. They want to move quickly.

3/. They pressure the Landlord to quickly sign an AST immediately. Be suspicious if their only Landlord reference is from an estate agent. 

4/. Once in your property, they begin structural modifications like remodelling the bathroom or installing new electrical wires or knocking down walls or replacing the plumbing in the kitchen. They might also replace external doors or windows to get your attention.

5/. They send you provocative emails like "Your house has been seized!' or 'I now have ownership of your house.' Their aim is to goad you into doing something illegal.

6/. If you challenge them that you have not given consent, you are contacted by a 'direct access barrister' typically of Eastern European origin typically called to the bar after 2009 who alleges breaches of right to quiet enjoyment, harassment and denial of services.

7/. Court action follows with a claim for substantial damages or costs on indemnity basis against you. A charge is then placed on the property, followed by a forced sale..

Reasonable Precautions that mitigate this risk include:

Never appear in a hurry to rent out your house.  This is what these scammers depend on.

Verify all photo IDs.  Be particularly cautious of people whose only ID is an EU national ID and who want to move in a hurry.

Do not accept LandLord references issued by estate agents except it is an agent that you know well.

Ensure that there are covenants in the AST forbidding the tenant from carrying out any repairs in the property or making any structural alterations or rewiring electrics or replacing the plumbing without your written consent.  If in doubt consult an SRA supervised solicitor with specialist interest in housing at: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/register/

Take a photo inventory of your property including the 4 walls of every room in the house showing all windows, all doors, all electrical sockets and lighting, all flooring, appliances in the kitchen, all radiators and your gas boiler.  Also photograph all outside walls and windows. Ensure that the tenant signs 2 copies of a paper inventory and keep a copy for yourself.

Be calm when you receive threats or provocations from this type of tenants. Do not loose your head. They are well rehearsed in the art of housing fraud or 'take-your-house scams. If a female tenant is involved, she may make an allegation of sexual harassment. Be prepared!

Do not attend the premises without an adult witness accompanying you.

Consider whether the Housing Department of your local Council has a good reputation of dealing with Landlord issues.  If in doubt, err on the side of caution and consult them anyway. 

Take legal advice from a UK regulated solicitor and commence immediate proceedings for damages if any structural modification was made without your written consent. Consider Possession Proceedings in addition to above as the scammers will test you with other challenges.

Register the property with HM Land Registry's Alert Notification so that you are notified promptly by email if any new entry is made to the title of the property.  https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk

Keep a record of any correspondence you receive from their 'direct access barrister'.  Report them to the regulatory body for barristers, the Bar Standards Board for conduct likely to bring the 'Bar' into disrepute at: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/reporting-concerns.html

Final Results Of The Enfield Landlords Prospective Study On ASB Within The London Borough of Enfield.

Enfield Landlords Prospective Study on ASB

Final Results Of The Enfield Landlords Prospective Study On ASB Within The London Borough of Enfield.

The characteristics that identified causes of ASB in LBE were present in 87.6% of the cohort studied.  The four most common perpetrators of ASB were council tenants in council houses 26.4% (95% CI: 1123.8 to 1801.2), youth gangs 25.3% (95% CI: -105.2 to 572.2), neighbours in their own homes 19.8% (95% CI: -236.7 to 440.7) and HMO tenants 5.7% (95% CI: -247.7 to 429.7). The risk factors for ASB were: fly-tipping (p<0.001), missed bin collections (p<0.001), neighbour disputes (p<0.01), youth gangs (p=0.03) and rowdy behaviour (p= 0.01). Multivariate analysis showed fly-tipping by council tenants in council housing to be a significant predictor of ASB (Odds Ratio = 4.82, z = 2.3, p < 0.001) at 360 days.

Results of the Enfield Landlords Prospective Study on anti-social behaviour with the London Borough of Enfield are given below.  The 80-month study show with a 99.9% confidence level that the main cause of ASB in the borough is fly-tipping

ASB Locations

ASB Population

ASB Sampling

Causes of ASB

Confidence interval of the study is shown on the left with a  (1 - a) of 95 % in all sub-groups.

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is shown in the ANOVA table below.

Conclusion Of The Study

In this study ASB presented with a variety of features.  The data show that the main risk factor for  ASB in the London Borough of Enfield is fly-tipping and the main perpetrators are council tenants living in council housing.