andrewmacrobert
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I have just been conned out of £450 deposit by dodgy landlord Simon Lewis who has several properties around the Headingley area of Leeds. Despite me meeting all the criteria (over 2 months notice, proof of bills paid, flat cleaner than when I moved in) and even helping find new tenants by showing them around he still refused to give me my depot back and now just ignores me. :mad:
I found out from Unipol that he had already been struck of their lists for recommended student accommodation a few years back for not returning deposits. He works with 'The A-Team' letting agency and his properties appear with their signs on them.
The worst thing is that he doesn't even care that I still have a key for the property which is terrible for the current tenants if you think about it.
:eek:
Anyway this is just a warning to anyone thinking of renting from him in the future. Simon Lewis dodgy landlord. No photo available strangely enough anywhere on the internet.
If anyone else has had similar experiences or even with the same guy feel free to contact me.
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ak_93
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he should have to give it back by law? (or provide reasons as to why he did not I THINK.)

google "deposit protection scheme"
if you landlord did not notify you of placing your deposit in one of these within 30 days you can go to court and get it back within 14 days

^that is sort of what i read whilst trying to deal with my new landlord
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hothedgehog
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If your deposit is in a deposit protection scheme like it should be then you can open a case to get it returned to you. If it's not (seems likely!) then take it to small claims court. It costs a bit to get the case seen (£25 if I remember correctly) and then you're likely to win if you've got some pictures and proof that you didn't destroy the house. Worth the initial cost to get the £450 back I think. Best of luck and thank you for warning other people. He sounds like a complete *******.
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marcusfox
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If the deposit is not protected then the landlord needs to repay 3x the value of the deposit.
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awesomewalrus
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Get a few friends together, stalk him until he's alone, then give him an offer he cant refuse.
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jemima33
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Hi there,

I am having exactly the same issue - he doesn't pick up the phone or reply to my texts and it's been over a month since I move out. My deposit was >£500 and I am so worried I won't get it back - he always seemed like a decent landlord when I lived in the property.

Have you seen this?
http://www.unipol.leeds.ac.uk/Leeds/...20Tribunal.pdf

Please keep me updated as to how you get on and I will do the same. ANy suggestions welcome!
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andrewmacrobert
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RE: Simon Lewis Dodgy Landlord
Thanks so much everyone for your responses. I'll keep you updated if I make any progress but I can't even find an address for him which makes things tricky. As jemima33 said in person he seems like a really decent bloke which I suppose is how he gets away with this. At least now when you google his name it brings up this thread as well as well as the info jemima33 pointed us to. Awesomewalrus (awesome username) I had thought along these lines but no address and he's an elusive character unless you are trying to give him money.:mad:
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Gavin35
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Hi

Unfortunately you seem to have had a very standard Simon Lewis experience. I've rented from him. He really is an awful person.

I'm afraid that if you have lost your deposit to him then I suspect the only way really to get anything back from him would be to go via the small claims court. I would strongly urge you to do this. It's not actually that difficult to do this, you can start a claim online via the courts service here: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/overview

If anyone is currently renting with Lewis I would urge you to be proactive in making sure he registers your deposit with one of the three deposit protection schemes. He will tell you he has done this. He won't have. Ask him which one, phone them, they will confirm he hasn't. Then he'll say it's another one. To be sure I'd phone all three. The numbers are here: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview

Then you need to continually remind him of his responsibilites, whilst gently threatening legal action. Eventually he'll give in and do it. Make sure you get written confirmation from the scheme he ends up using.

In terms of contacting him, well, it'll be hard. The address on your tenancy form probably isn't his actual address, in fact I've been told it's the address of another property he lets out. Good luck trying to track him down.

cya
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marcusfox
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It's very odd that we have had two new posters only registering to tell us their 'Simon Lewis' experiences, seemingly to bump the thread after the thread has faded to obscurity.

jemima33 and Gavin35, are you shilling?
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Gavin35
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Hi
I understand why it looks like I'm shilling (whatever shilling means) since I've never posted on this forum before (or read it before either).
However, I'm currently in a bit of a dispute with Simon Lewis about something unrelated to my deposit (he finally registered mine when I more or less read him the riot act and said I would be going to court if he wouldn't just get on with it and do what he was supposed to do). I had look on Google to see if anyone else out there on the internet was having any problems with him and low and behold this forum post is at the top of the search results. I thought I'd chip in with my experiences. The people on here that say they've had rubbish experiences with Lewis are pretty much par for the course, anyone renting with him will quickly find his constant lies and general chaotic state to be at times beyond belief and if it wasn't so serious it could actually be quite funny. At times he can even seem like a tragic figure and you can find yourself feeling sorry for him that his life is such a sad state of affairs - then you remember that he's trying his best to fleece you and the sympathy immediately evaporates.
Simon Lewis is the kind of landlord who gives all landlords their rubbish reputation. It's frustrating because in any other field someone whose entire business model is to mess the clients around as much as possible would quickly find themselves out of business. But because Lewis is a landlord and tenants generally don't stand up for themselves he is always able to float along keeping just ahead the inevitable bankruptcy that lies ahead (why else do you think he is so insistent on rent being paid in cash?) If tenants were more willing to stand up for themselves this sort of stuff might not happen so much.
It would be nice if the law on deposits wasn't so toothless too, because as the law stands when Simon Lewis fails to protect your despoit it is up to YOU to try and enforce this. Frankly most students won't be willing to go through with the faff of going to the civil court and so on and he knows this. By the time you move out and ask for the deposit back it's too late, if he hasn't registered the deposit and won't answer his phone then it's probably because a) he's scared to talk to you and b) he knows there's hardly any chance that you'll be determined enough to sort it out through the courts.
Sorry if this has turned into a bit of an incoherant rant, Simon Lewis can have that effect on me sometimes
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Gavin35
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A quick note.....

Simon Lewis the dodgy landlord is NOT the same Simon Lewis who is a geography lecturer at the University of Leeds. So if anyone out there on the internet has googled 'Simon Lewis Leeds' and found this, it's not the academic that's dodgy.
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A Cat
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Sounds like a psychopath. just my input.
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amyshamblesxx
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It's actually illegal for him to not register your deposit in a scheme.
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Pink Boy
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Take the ***** to court.
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Gavin35
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You also might like to make sure Simon has actually applied for planning permission, otherwise you might have a nasty surprise when Leeds City Council turn up with a bulldozer and an execution order
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Gavin35
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Well, yesterday it finally happened, the most ridiculous Simon Lewis related shenanegan yet!

I live in one of Simon Lewis's little blocks in Meanwood, the flat is cheap but obviously built to an incredibly low standard, the address also never shows on electronic address systems. I always thought something was fishy about this, and discovered back in January that he had in fact never applied for planning permission to build the block.

Yesterday, a gentleman from Leeds City Council turned up to hand deliver an 'enforcement notice'. The enforcement notice states that as Simon Lewis has built the flats without planning permission he has now been ordered to have the flats demolished within six months. A copy is being sent to all affected tenants plus of course Simon and his brother (incidentally the address for Simon on the notice was not the address he gives his tenants as 'his' address - that's in fact another flat he lets out)

Having had enough of Simon Lewis and his rubbish I had already given my notice in last week and will be moving in April anyway, however, this means that the neighbours in the three other flats will have to move out now too, which is a bit of a pain.

Just in case anyone thinks I'm trolling by the way, feel free to google the enforcement number, it's 10/00904/NCP3.

Anyway, the really cheeky thing is that from looking at the documents provided by the council, this whole dispute has been going on for over a year, and yet, when we told Simon we were moving out he immediately advertised the property on Gumtree and started booking prospective tenants to look around!

Really, avoid this man.
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hackademia
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You sound anal Gavin if that's your real name. He was a landlord of mine and he was a top geezer.
You need to get a life.
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marcusfox
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This is weird.

First we have andrewmacrobert register an new account to tell us about his 'Simon Lewis' experience, perfectly reasonable as many people frequently register new accounts to ask questions or get help on issues they face.

But what is really strange is we have jemima33 register an account just to tell us about her ''Simon Lewis' experience, and then Gavin35 do exacly the same thing. In all that time since, a good eight months later, neither jemima33 and Gavin35 have commented on any other topic, and their posts have an effect of bumping this thread back to the top once the thread has faded into obscurity. Shilling, perhaps?

However, we now have hackademia, yet another new poster, but with the oposite tactic. Could it be that having been called out about the shilling, the person behind these seemingly multiple accounts has realised it will look as though the point I made in #9 is being proved if yet a third new user joins the discussion only to make a post complaining about the landlord, so changes tack and complains about one of the other posters instead.

But the net effect is the same - an old thread with a last post of two months ago is bumped from obscurity and at face value looks like a whole load of people complaining about a dodgy landlord.

Which was probably the OP's objective all along.
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Gavin35
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(Original post by marcusfox)
This is weird.

First we have andrewmacrobert register an new account to tell us about his 'Simon Lewis' experience, perfectly reasonable as many people frequently register new accounts to ask questions or get help on issues they face.

But what is really strange is we have jemima33 register an account just to tell us about her ''Simon Lewis' experience, and then Gavin35 do exacly the same thing. In all that time since, a good eight months later, neither jemima33 and Gavin35 have commented on any other topic, and their posts have an effect of bumping this thread back to the top once the thread has faded into obscurity. Shilling, perhaps?

However, we now have hackademia, yet another new poster, but with the oposite tactic. Could it be that having been called out about the shilling, the person behind these seemingly multiple accounts has realised it will look as though the point I made in #9 is being proved if yet a third new user joins the discussion only to make a post complaining about the landlord, so changes tack and complains about one of the other posters instead.

But the net effect is the same - an old thread with a last post of two months ago is bumped from obscurity and at face value looks like a whole load of people complaining about a dodgy landlord.

Which was probably the OP's objective all along.

Hey. I've not been posting under any other name than Gavin35

Incidentally, Gavin is not my real name, it's the first name of someone I was sitting next to at my old job when I registered the account. I used his name so my post was a bit anonymous, I wanted it to be a bit anonymous because I was writing about what a so-and-so my then landlord was and didn't want it traced back to me.

I've moved out now and live in London where I've started a new job.

It was pretty rubbish timing to move actually because about two weeks before I left Leeds I received a final "your flat is going to be demolished" notice from Leeds City Council. The letter said that Lewis had a month to appeal this, if the appeal failed then he would have to completely demolish the flat within 6 months. Despite this, he immediately advertised our flat on gumtree, then texted to ask if he could bring someone round to look the next day. We said he could. We decided that we were going to show whoever came round the letter from the council, then decided in a strange moment of almost feeling sorry for him that we would give him the chance to tell them himself.

Next day my partner saw a girl hovering around in the street at the time he had said they would come. He has several properties on my old street and therefore there was a big sign with his phone number written on it. She was by this at the other end of the street.

At about 20 past the time of the visit she was still there, so my partner went out and asked if she was waiting to view the flat? She said she was but Simon hadn't shown yet and wasn't answering his phone. My partner told her about what was happening with the council and invited her in to have a look at the flat. She thanked her, had a look around, then left.

A bit later the girl knocks on our door. She says she had a phone call from Simon after she had seen our flat saying that "the tenants are being difficult at the original flat and won't let me show anyone around, however, I have another flat around the corner, would you like to see it?" She then asks my partner if she would mind giving her an honest assessment of Simon, which she did. No idea if the girl went for the flat around the corner or not.

The reason I say it was rubbish timing is because he was still able to advertise the flat so long as the demolition order thing wasn't final yet (I phoned the council to ask and they told me he was legally able to advertise the flat without mentioning the order as it wasn't final yet). If we'd stayed there a bit longer then the month for him to appeal would have passed and we'd have got to find out what happens next.

Anyway, accuse me of "shilling" all you like, however, google the reference number above, and "Simon Lewis Unipol" and you'll see that everything I say is backed up.

Incidentally, despite making a big fuss about deposits, hypocritically I have only just actually got round to requesting my old deposit back from the DPS people on their website (as stated earlier, he only registered my deposit when I threatened to take him to court over it ) Let's see if he makes any fuss over paying it back, he certainly hasn't been answering his phone!

Cya!
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andrewmacrobert
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Hi Marcus,

I understand your paranoia there is a lot of stuff like that going on across the web but seriously I just came on here to see if it was just me the Simon Lewis had screwed over and to warn other students about this guy. I thought if it worked then at least if students were smart enough to look him up before renting they'd have a clue as to the kind of person he is. I hadn't used my account in ages because I've not been a student for the last year I was working but it seems like Simon is still ripping off tenants now.:mad:
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