SOUTH Tyneside landlords have joined forces to send out a “we’ll lock you out” warning to trouble tenants.
Colin Campbell, executive officer of the South Tyneside Landlords’ Association, set up a text tenant service six weeks ago, to allow property bosses all over the borough to swap details on potential clients.
The scheme has already attracted 45 landlords responsible for over 400 properties in the borough.
Mr Campbell, 59, from Cleadon, is keen for even more new recruits to sign up for the scheme, after seeing a rise in rent arrears and abuse of properties in recent years.
The text scheme allows landlords to gain an insight into the past behaviour of clients – both good and bad – before deciding whether to hand over keys to a home.
Mr Campbell said: “The scheme is now flying. We’ve had a fantastic response. Landlords will text a few words to me about a tenant and I’ll send that out to the group.
“I only pass on what is sent to me, then it is up to the landlords to decide what to do.
“We’ve had one person recently looking for a property who claimed to be homeless.
“But it turned out he was a person with a history of problems, including violence, and we had around 20 texts from landlords who knew of him.”
The service is also an opportunity for landlords to pass on positive comments and recommendations about well-behaved tenants, as well as help root out those abusing the system.
Mr Campbell is now keen for the service to be taken up by even more landlords, with the prospect of extending the network to include social housing landlords in the future.
Mr Campbell added: “We need more landlords to tighten up the network and keep out the undesirables.”
Landlords in South Tyneside keen to join the group can contact Mr Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text him with their details on 07715 800 239.
South Tyneside Landlords’ Association holds meetings on the first Wednesday of the month from 7pm, at the Little Haven Hotel in South Shields, with new members welcome to attend.