TV presenter for Channel 5 Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords says house in March ‘worst’ he’d experienced in 27 years
- Credit: Archant
Property specialist Paul Shamplina says a visit to March with Channel 5’s Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords uncovered “the worst living conditions I had ever seen in my 27 years in this business”.
Mr Shamplina, now filming his fourth series of the TV series, described is “a unique case but also tragic.”
He said the tenant living at the property had been rent protected and had lived at the 18thcentury two-bedroom cottage for 35 years.
“Our landlord, who purchased the property with the tenant in situ in 2007, was the third person to have owned this property during the tenant’s occupancy and lived next door,” he said.
“It turned out that the tenant was a compulsive hoarder who had refused any of the landlord’s right of access to the property to carry out necessary checks or maintenance repairs.
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“It has taken the current landlord three years to eventually gain possession after the tenant passed away in October, and her probate solicitors signed a deed of surrender.
“Once the keys were returned to the landlord, I was tasked with the job of entering the property – the landlord was too distressed to see what state the property was in.”
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Mr Shamplina, the founder of Landlord Action, a specialist in tenant eviction and debt recovery, said viewers will see from the protective clothing worn when they entered the house “that it was not a pretty sight, and neither was I.”
He said: “Entering the property with the film-crew was a stomach-churning experience; it was a real-life house of horrors.
“From the moment we stepped foot inside, the stench hit you even though we had masks on.
“We couldn’t move more than a couple of feet for overflowing mounds of rubbish, piles of belongings and black sacks full of human faeces – the bathroom had not been used in the proper capacity in over two years.
“The floorboards had given way, the ceilings were hanging down and I can’t even begin to describe the fridge which, as I dared to open, appeared to have a life of its own.”
He said there were many frustrating issues surrounding the case not least the legal threat posed, unfairly, to the landlord who had tried to gain access and carry out repairs.
But Mr Shamplina believes that more help should have been forthcoming from Fenland District Council who “had failed to act quickly enough to deem it uninhabitable and help a vulnerable tenant.
“A tenant in need of support and an emotional landlord powerless to do anything about it has resulted in the property most probably having to be knocked down and rebuilt.”