Mark Whitehead 05 June 2023

Rogue landlords are using ‘fake bailiffs’, charity warns

Rogue landlords are using ‘fake bailiffs’, charity warns image
Image: Andrey_Popov /

Rogue landlords are using fake private security guards dressed like court bailiffs to force families out of their rented homes, a charity has warned.

Safer Renting, a charity-run tenancy relations service operating in seven London boroughs, said criminal landlords were increasingly trying to trick tenants into leaving their homes without a court order.

The warning comes amid the biggest shake-up of the private rental market in decades, with the Government’s renters reform bill outlawing no-fault evictions and requiring landlords to register their properties.

Landlords caught carrying out illegal evictions could face fixed penalty fines of up to £30,000 under the bill – a significant increase on the hundreds currently imposed by the courts.

But enforcement has been extremely rare, with only 29 landlords convicted of illegal evictions or harassment in England and Wales in 2021 despite thousands of complaints.

Co-founder of Safer Renting Ben Reeve-Lewis said: 'We’ve seen a spate of cases this year where landlords have used uniformed security guards to give the impression of a court-sanctioned eviction.

'In the past, criminal landlords may have sent heavies to throw tenants out, but this is the first time in 33 years of working in the private-rented sector that I’ve seen fake bailiffs kitted out with stab vests, radios and handcuffs. Some of them even have vans with police-like livery on the side.'

If you found this article interesting, then check out our feature, 'How AI can assist councils with social housing allocations'.

Sign up here to receive our free daily news and jobs bulletin.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Noise and Nuisance Officer RBKC617193

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£37,575 - £41,286 per annum
Kensington and Chelsea is one of London’s most vibrant and densely populated borough Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Ensemble Lead x 3 posts

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
UNQT Music £16.25 per hour
Casual, variable hours, working as and when required. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Assessment and Review Coordinator

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£29,777 - £32,076 (pay award pending)
Every day is different for our Assessment and Review Co-ordinators with the job role including assessments of peoples strengths and needs Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Service Director

Cambridgeshire County Council
up to £128k
Future facing, faster, simpler, more intuitive, and accessible to all. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Director, Corporate Services

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Up to £109k
Home to one of the world’s most famous racecourses, we’re pretty used to things moving at pace. Epsom, Surrey
Recuriter: Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.