Defending myself & counter-suing property trainer Samuel Leeds

by Vanessa Warwick

Defending myself & counter-suing property trainer Samuel Leeds

by Vanessa Warwick
Vanessa Warwick
Case Owner
Community Manager, consumer champion, & I have a long track record of challenging exaggerated marketing claims & supporting vulnerable people when they have experienced financial loss.
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Vanessa Warwick
Case Owner
Community Manager, consumer champion, & I have a long track record of challenging exaggerated marketing claims & supporting vulnerable people when they have experienced financial loss.
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Latest: March 20, 2024

Discontinuation of defamation/harassment claim against David O'Hara

Following on from my recent news that Samuel Leeds Ltd had discontinued the alleged defamation/harassment claim against me, I am pleased to be able to report that another legal claim brought by him h…

Read more

Defending a claim for six figure damages for alleged defamation such claim having been commenced against me by the so-called property trainer Mr Samuel Leeds.

By Vanessa Warwick, Community Manager, Consumer Champion.

Thank you for visiting my campaign page.

About me: I have a long track record of challenging exaggerated marketing claims and supporting vulnerable people who have experienced financial losses after being enticed to sign up to expensive property wealth creation courses.

I am having to seek the support of members of the public in order to defend a claim in the High Court of Justice commenced by a so-called wealth and property trainer and self-proclaimed millionaire Mr Samuel Leeds and his company Samuel Leeds Limited.

Background

In 2009 I co-founded a property forum called Property Tribes with my husband Nick.

The forum was designed to offer up community-generated advice and opinion to prospective landlords.

Over the last few years the Property Tribes forum has been inundated with dissatisfied customers who have been in contact with “wealth creation experts” who promise, among other things, that an individual could be a millionaire in a year with little or no money.

Many members of the public have used the PT platform to air their concerns about the unregulated nature of the so-called property “guru” industry, thereby putting Property Tribes at the forefront of community-generated due diligence resources to inform and protect consumers from the dangers of engaging with these types of "get rich quick through property" promoters.

The “wealth creation” industry appears to object the service that Property Tribes has provided to the public and as a result our site has been subject to negative propaganda and smear campaigns.

Much of this negative propaganda has been directed at me personally.

Since 2019, I have been being targeted on a massive scale and this is why I have come to CrowdJustice to seek your kind support.

The individual who I believe is behind this campaign since May 2019 is named Samuel Leeds and has been the subject of a BBC expose (viewed by over 20 million people) after one of his mentees, Army Reservist Danny Butcher, got into debt after signing up to Samuel's training academy and subsequently took his own life.

This has culminated in a claim being commenced by Mr Leeds and his company Samuel Leeds Limited against me for defamation where he is seeking to recoup six figure damages.

Mr. Leeds was also the subject of a segment on Joe Lycett's Channel 4 "Got Your Back" programme (viewed by 1.4 million people) were Joe gate-crashed Samuel's event to ask why Samuel was charging thousands of pounds for freely available information.

The Telegraph also ran a number of articles:

My late husband got into debt after chasing property dreams

'Who wants a free house?': My 13-hour day at a get-rich-quick seminar

Exclusive investigation: The property 'guru' leading people into debt in pursuit of 'financial freedom'

Get rich quick schemes and the need for regulation

So as you can see from the above there has been exposure of Mr. Leeds and his marketing claims, training methods, and lack of fulfilment of what he promises his students.

Threads about Mr. Leeds started to appear on PropertyTribes from 2017. They were mostly started by dissatisfied mentees and ex-business partners. Not a single thread was started by me. These threads were constantly moderated in line with Property Tribes terms and conditions.

Despite this and all the mainstream exposure of his practices, Samuel Leeds has targeted myself as the source of all his woes.

Over a two year period I believe he has run a smear campaign against me in order to get threads deleted from Property Tribes and/or to discredit myself and it as a source of credible information.

He has also constantly tried to force an interview with me to debate the commentary about him on Property Tribes.

I believe that the first campaign was undertaken by someone claiming to be associated with Samuel Leeds and the second campaign was undertaken by Samuel himself, using his extensive social media channels. The police investigated on both occasions and I am hugely grateful for their support.

I would like to add that I am a respected industry commentator, am regularly asked for commentary by the mainstream media such as the Times, Telegraph, Estates Gazette, Guardian, and ThisIsMoney, and also provided consultation to the government on how to communicate Right to Rent legislation to landlords as well as being invited to a private meeting with the Special Advisor to the Housing Minister to share my views on issues affecting the private rented sector.

Throughout all of this 18 month campaign, which has caused me considerable distress and disrupted my life, Samuel has attempted to force contact with me, which I believe are the actions of an harasser, not someone being harassed.

Samuel Leeds has now issued proceedings in the High Court against me, largely for my fact-checking of his comments about me and my documentation of his activities against me, which was provoked by the content he created himself to disrupt my life and ruin my good reputation!

Earlier this week, the New Statesman have also published an article which mentions Samuel Leeds in a less than favourable light and identifies the issues that cause a lot of people concern over his activities:

"As with influencers' personal home renovation accounts, these users encourage an envy-driven kind of escapism, particularly for low-paid young viewers. For those with no assets, trying to find steady work in the midst of a recession, there is obvious appeal in a fantasy where they have the disposable income, time and energy to gut and refinish an abandoned building while still paying for their own home.

Those who advocate such trends speak as though their lifestyle choices are accessible to anyone, when in reality, like property investment, they are a way for the already-wealthy to make themselves richer or happier, often at the expense of those who aren’t as fortunate. ".

With regard to Mr Leeds’ claims for defamation/harassment as against me personally, I am of the belief that his case has no legal merit.

Resorting to the law appears to be a strategy favoured by Mr Leeds as he appears to consider it an opportunity to silence dissenting voices.

I am informed and believe that Mr Samuel Leeds has sent legal threats to scores of YouTubers, forums, bloggers, FaceBook groups and other individuals to get negative content removed about him from social media and also started High Court action against an autistic man who stood up to him.

Fundamentally, this is an attack on free speech, fair comment and the right for any individual in this land to express an honest opinion without threat, rancor, or abuse.

All individuals must be allowed to “call out” individuals and/or businesses, that do not operate to an extremely high standard or do not offer a "duty of care" to consumers. If there are issues that are a matter of public interest, they must be expressed without the threat of being “dragged” before the courts.

I am fighting for the public interest and to oppose bullying tactics from individuals who appear to have the financial “muscle” to act in this way.

Still with me? Thank you!

I am standing up to his bullying tactics and have filed my defence and issued a counter claim for harassment.

I need your assistance to continue my defence and my own legal action counter-suing Samuel Leeds for his harassment of myself which will finally reveal the true nature of his ethics and business practices.

My defence as against Mr Samuel Leeds will, in my opinion, go a long way to “shine a light" on the unregulated wealth creation industry and prevent vulnerable people being “duped” into paying thousands of pounds for courses that make exaggerated claims as to becoming “financially free” through property investments with little or no starting funds and in very short time periods.

Andrew Denbigh Whyte, another ex-veteran, who got into further debt by signing up with Samuel Leeds and has nothing to show for it, is now part of a class action of over 50 ex-mentees of Samuel Leeds who are seeking refunds.

My commentary about Samuel Leeds and this CrowdJustice campaign is in the public interest.

Positive steps have been made recently with Nick Fletcher MP reading out Danny Butcher's name in parliament and asking for ex-veterans to receive more financial literacy support as they are vulnerable to being scammed when they come out of the armed services.

In the first instance, I am seeking £12.5K to fund my on-going defence and counter-claim.

Important note: If you are struggling financially, please DO NOT DONATE. Please just share this link on social media instead.

If you have lost money to a wealth creation expert with promises of easy riches who you were first exposed to on-line, please do one or all of the below:

1. Write to your MP and let them know. You can find your MP's contact details here.

2. Contact Howard Mustoe, Senior personal finance reporter at the Telegraph via howard.mustoe (at) telegraph.co.uk who has an interest in this topic.

3. Contact Trading Standards.

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance to anyone who can support me in my legal fight against property trainer Samuel Leeds.


With objectivity and fairness in mind; the Claimants refute all of the points that I am making in this page. The Claimants will say that all of the negative press generated by the mainstream media is without merit although, little appears to have been done by them to challenge this in the Courts, save for instigating legal proceedings against me.

The objectives of this page is solely to raise money to pay for professional legal assistance to enable me to present my case in court. It does not mean that you accept, or anyone accepts my view of the case - this is a matter entirely for the Court.



Update 79

Vanessa Warwick

March 20, 2024

Discontinuation of defamation/harassment claim against David O'Hara

Following on from my recent news that Samuel Leeds Ltd had discontinued the alleged defamation/harassment claim against me, I am pleased to be able to report that another legal claim brought by him has been discontinued and costs awarded to the defendant.

It was against one of the Facebook case defendants, David O'Hara, who has released a press statement:

Samuel Leeds final court outcome - David O'Hara

That leaves 6 facebook group defendants still on the claim.


Update 78

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 16, 2024

Samuel Leeds vs. Vanessa Warwick - initial court outcome

I am delighted to report that there has been a significant positive development in the alleged defamation & harassment case which has been brought against me by Samuel Leeds and his company Samuel Leeds Limited.

You can read the rest of the story here. Or watch my video announcement:

Update 77

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 15, 2024

Initial court outcome - Samuel Leeds vs. Vanessa Warwick

I am delighted to report that there has been a significant positive development in the alleged defamation & harassment case which has been brought against me by Samuel Leeds and his company Samuel Leeds Limited.

You can read the rest of the story here.

The court hearing at the High Court in London tomorrow will now not be going ahead so please do not travel to London for it.

Thank you to everyone so far and for your continued support.

Update 76

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 10, 2024

Samuel Leeds - Economist article

An article has been published in the Economist about Samuel Leeds.

The article is remarkable because it is nearly two years in the writing because it followed a mentee named Simon from when he attended the Crash Course, through his attempts to make the strategies work, to ending up in debt and sleeping in a converted van.

It is a long and detailed article and highlights the many concerns I have been raising about the "wealth creation" industry for nearly15 years.

Inside the TikTok property hustle:  How Samuel Leeds has retooled an old sales pitch for the age of influencers. No amount of controversy seems to dent it

Thank you for your continued support.

Update 75

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 3, 2024

Samuel Leeds threatening TikTok developer with legal action for fact-check

A chap called Developer Keeks on TikTok created a video fact-checking Samuel Leeds' development numbers.

Samuel Leeds' figures don't add up

He's now received a defamation threat from Samuel.


The development in question is the one undertaken by Trevor Cutmore from many years ago, where Samuel provided some of the funding.

Developer Keeks has provider another up-date here. He's now had a letter from Samuel's lawyers, Ellisons.

It will be interesting to see how this develops and whether the videos get removed.

Update 74

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 31, 2024

My next court hearing - 16th February

Just a note to say my next court hearing is on the 16th February 2024 at the High Court in London.

The court will be hearing my application to strike out the second claimant, Samuel Leeds Ltd, out of the case.

This is an open session and anyone from the public or the press can attend.

You can check the Cause List of the court the day before to find out the court room number and the time of the hearing.

I will be in attendance with my Barrister, Mr Jonathan Price.

Hope to see some of my CJ backers there!

Update 73

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 22, 2023

Thank you for being my Santa Claus!

As the year draws to a close, I just want to send all my CJ backers my sincere thanks and gratitude for your support over the past year. You are awesome!

I came across a lovely story, which illustrates how I feel about YOU!

Son: "Dad, I think I'm old enough now. Is there a Santa Claus?."

Dad: "Ok, I agree that your old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the “truth” is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can't unknow it.

Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you will never again understand and relate to him as you do now.

So my question is: Are you sure you want to know?"

Brief pause...

Son: "Yes, I want to know"

Dad: "Ok, I'll tell you: Yes there is a Santa Claus"

Son: "Really?"

Dad: Yes, really, but he's not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That's just what we tell kids. You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand.

The truth about Santa Claus is that he's not a person at all; he's an idea.

Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years.

I actually bought those myself.

I watched you open them.

And did it bother me that you didn't thank me?

Of course not!

In fact it gave me great pleasure.

You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.

When I saw that woman collapse in the street last week and called for help, I knew that she'd never know that it was me that summoned the ambulance.

I was being Santa Claus when I did that."

Son: "Oh."

Dad: "So now that you know, you're part of it. You have to be Santa Claus too now. That means you have to look for opportunities to help people and be kind without expecting recognition or thanks. Got it?".

The above sums up you, my dear CJ backers. I may never be able to thank you personally for your kind donation and support, but you know who you are and you know you are making a difference to me and the future of the "wealth creation" industry!

Your supportive comments on my CJ page are what keep me fighting on and also send a clear message to the claimant about the level of support I have.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas and hope that you get to spend time with family and loved ones.

My CrowdJustice campaign continues and if you want to send me a little something for my Christmas stocking, you can donate here.

I will be back in 2024, counting down to my court hearing on the 16th February and keeping you informed of progress by way of these emails.

Until then, slow down, relax, and enjoy this most wonderful time of the year ... and spread some kindness wherever you can, no matter how big or small a gesture.

Kindness is not just for Christmas. Santa Claus can spread joy and goodwill all year round. :)

Seasons Greetings!,
Vanessa

Update 72

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 14, 2023

"Heeerrrre'sssssss Samuel!"

I thought you might like to see Samuel's latest video/ill-advised publicity stunt where he's undertaking an eviction using a chainsaw:

Samuel Leeds using chainsaw to evict


Samuel claims in the above post that the key was in the lock on the inside, which forced him to use the chainsaw to gain entry.

Imagine how terrifying that chainsaw coming through the door would be to any children in the property!

Samuel has once again brought responsible landlords and hosts into disrepute and acted like a complete and utter bully.

He actually says he wants the video to send the message - "Don't mess with me".

I do hope you agree with me that it's very concerning to see someone posting such threatening content on social media?

Update 71

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 1, 2023

FSU show further support for my case

The Free Speech Union have kindly given a further plug to my case in the email newsletter to 10K subscribers:

Update 70

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 29, 2023

Good to see the SRA tackling SLAPPs

Two firms are to face tribunal charges in connection with 'abusive litigation' while the cases of six firms accused of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are currently awaiting a prosecution decision, a senior executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority revealed this week.

Read the full article and see my comments on it

Update 69

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 24, 2023

Attending the Anti-SLAPPs Conference

I am pleased to say that I have been invited as a guest to the Anti-SLAPPs Conference in London on Monday.

This conference is looking at ways to stop wealthy and vexatious claimants bringing lawsuits to shut down commentary that is in the public interest.

I have many supporters and journalists from the anti-SLAPPs movement and some of them will be attending my court hearings.

I am pleased to be part of this important movement of freedom of speech in the public interest, which my commentary most certainly is when it comes to warning consumers of the dangers of "get rich quick" property trainers.

Thank you to everyone for their continued support.

Update 68

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 3, 2023

My ability to serve the community is in jeopardy

I thought I would share a screenshot with you as part of this thread - it's from the High Court listings:


The above is a screenshot from CaseBoard showing all the court cases being brought by the claimant.

My case is one of many, as you can see. (You can click on each link for details of each case and also a time-line of how each case is progressing through the courts).

I had a look at my Property Tribes profile recently, and I have created over 5K threads on Property Tribes and replied over 17K times, sharing my 20 plus years of landlord knowledge and experience since Property Tribes was launched in 2009.

I have posted thousands of other comments on other forums and facebook groups across the social web.

I have done this because I am so grateful for what property investment has achieved for myself and Nick, and because I want to pass on my learnings and experience to others to ensure that they do not make the same mistakes that I did and that they have a positive and stress-free journey in BTL.

I also wanted to be part of a drive to create more informed and responsible landlords, who will in turn ensure that tenants have a better and safer experience of private renting.

Due to various court cases, my ability to continue to serve the community is now in jeopardy.

Have I ever helped you or provided you with information that improved your BTL business, helped you solve a problem, or supported you in your hour of need?

If so, I would be really grateful if you would be so kind as to do something for me.

I would like you to visit my CrowdJustice page and show your support for me by making a donation.

The defamation laws in this country favour those with deep pockets who can bring a vexatious case to try and crush the person who has been speaking out in the public interest and to silence those who apply critical thinking. It's always a very effective tool for shutting down social media commentary.

You can learn more about this in this Guardian article about my case.

If you appreciate the work I do in the community, which includes consumer protection activities and commentary, then please donate to my defence to allow me to continue this work.

If every person I have ever helped donated £10.00, then it would fund my entire defence and allow me to get a solicitor back on board.

At the moment, I am a litigant in person, and it's incredibly stressful and it's also a huge amount of work dealing with court paperwork. That work and amount of time spent defending myself also takes me away from service to the property community, which I am sure was part of the intent of the claimant.

Please come to my aid at this landmark moment in the history of the unregulated wealth creation industry. My court case is the first ever to hold a property trainer to account over their marketing claims and business practices.

With your continued support, my ability to make a difference can only become greater and more effective.

Together we can successful defend this case and protect consumers going forwards to an even greater extent!

Please visit my CrowdJustice page and show your support.

Thank you to my 1,468 donors so far. Everyone's support is so appreciated by me that I don't really have the words to express it.

Update 67

Vanessa Warwick

Oct. 25, 2023

Some up-dates on my case and situation

I'm just writing with a quick up-date to say that my court hearing from the 5th December has unfortunately now been postponed to February 2024.

The good news is that I have been contacted by a number of journalists who are interested in this case, and they will be attending the court hearing, hopefully to report on the outcome which will be "public domain" information at that point.

I was at the National Residential Landlord Conference yesterday and someone came up to us and said how Samuel Leeds was the "scourge of our sector".

This is a common and unfortunate misconception that brings reputable landlords into disrepute. The truth is that Samuel Leeds is NOTHING to do with being a landlord and property investor and operates in an entirely different sector which I call the "wealth creation" industry.

Landlord activities are highly regulated, whereas wealth creation gurus are not subject to any regulation and this is an environment that fosters losses to consumers.

If something goes wrong in the private rented sector, there are routes of redress. If something goes wrong in the wealth creation industry there are no formal routes of redress.

I hope to make this very clear through the platform my court case has given me.

I will be attending the Anti-SLAPPs Conference in late November to speak to journalists there and hopefully create more awareness of my case.

So, all in all good news.

As ever, you will be the first to know about any developments in my case.

Thank you so much for your continued support. I could not survive this horrendous experience without you.

Update 66

Vanessa Warwick

Sept. 13, 2023

The Times on the use of vexatious lawsuits to kill scrutiny

Good to see the Times writing strong commentary about vexatious lawsuits being used to kill scrutiny.

Update 65

Vanessa Warwick

Aug. 25, 2023

Free Speech Union show continued solidarity for me

I am delighted that the Free Speech Union have once again highlighted my case via their newsletter this morning!

Here is what they sent to their 20K subscribers:

The FSU has been so supportive of me during this highly-stressful time and I am very grateful to them.

They do amazing work in fighting the stifling of free speech and supporting those who are having their right to freedom of speech shut down.

If you want to support the important work they do, you can join for as little as £5.00 per month.

Join the Free Speech Union

If your right to free speech is being infringed or you are being penalised in some way for exercising your lawful right to free speech you can email [email protected].

Thanks to Dr Bryn Harris and the entire FSU for their continued support!

Update 64

Vanessa Warwick

Aug. 10, 2023

Another year old, another year wiser - they say

It's my birthday today and I would like to take the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you.

It's over four years since Samuel Leeds started his campaign against me and you'd be right in thinking that it's been very stressful and anxiety-inducing.

However, on my special day, I would like to re-frame that and say that I am grateful that I was chosen as the person to be sued for defamation over fact-checking an unregulated property trainer.

The reason I say this is because I view it as a privilege that my court case has been a platform for increased awareness of the issues and also for positive change around consumer protection in the "wealth creation" industry.

Furthermore, I have also had the mental strength - due to the incredible support I've had - to withstand the stress and anxiety of facing the biggest ever defamation damages brought in the history of the UK courts - £5.4 million!

There is a saying that you are never given a problem that you do not have the strength to overcome and I am sure that is true!

What I have faced over the past four years has also been a huge personal learning journey for me, and one that I intend to share with others for the greater good.  I really have learned so much and I am so grateful to every single person who has supported me along the way, and shared their wise words, just at the exact time they were most needed.

There are three main sayings that have really helped me though my darkest hours, and I would like to share them with you today in the hope that they may help you or someone you care about:

1.  Real problems can always be solved, it is only imagined ones that seem insurmountable.

This is a very grounding truth.  If you have a real problem, there WILL be a solution.  You just need to find it, and one way to do that is to reach out and ask for help, either family or friends, or through a network like Property Tribes.

You will be amazed at the advice and support that comes back to you and an answer/solution will appear.  It's incredible how it works!  Do not suffer in silence.  The community is here for you and sometimes it helps to talk to a stranger rather than someone you know.

2.   Be grateful for everything that happens to you and for everything you have.

An attitude of gratitude has massively helped me stay strong.  Every night, before I go to sleep, I do my "gratitude list" which is 10 things that I am grateful for.  This reminds me that I am so fortunate in so many ways, with a wonderful husband, good health, and so many friends and supporters, not to mention my three amazing cats!  Happiness is not by chance, it's a choice, and I can still be happy and content despite the threat I am facing.  My gratitude list reminds me of all the wonderful things life has to offer and that I can still enjoy them.  It sends me off to sleep with a smile on my face.

I am even grateful to SL for putting me in a position where my consumer protection work is amplified and where all the issues and dangers to consumers of the unregulated wealth creation industry are being brought before a judge in a court of law and also to the attention of the mainstream media.

3.  This is not happening to you, it's happening for you.

This amazing bit of advice from the most incredibly brave and courageous lady who reached out to me has perhaps helped me more than anything.  It re-frames a problem and makes you realise you are not a victim.  Something is happening for you to make you a stronger or better person and that you may be able to assist or support others with your hard-won learnings.

I would like to take a few lines to thank some important people in my life:

My amazing and wise husband Nick.

My family and friends.

My CrowdJustice supporters.

Carmine Procaccini at Anthony Gold Solicitors - my solicitor and an amazing man who has been so incredibly supportive of me and always found the time to talk through everything with me when I have felt anxious.

Bryn Harris and all at the Free Speech Union.

Nik Williams and all at Index on Censorship.

Robert Sharp - free speech campaginer

Jonathan Price - my amazing barrister

Ben Beadle - CEO of the NRLA

Rob Dix at Property Hub for the amazing interview.

Maxine Fothergill for interviewing me about the on-line harassment of women.

Maurice Slevin - for his amazing £1K donation to my fund.  It gave me such a lift at a time when it was most needed.

All the amazing people who have reached out to me to offer support - you know who you are!  Some are literally like angels that appear in your darkest hour and help you see a way forwards!  If I have forgotten anyone, then please forgive me.

Without all of you, I could not have stayed strong.  I've learned to look out for "cosmic winks" from the Universe to let me know all is going my way, even if the controlled narrative by the claimant would try to suggest otherwise.  Cosmic winks are always there if you choose to be open to them!

If you would like to celebrate my birthday with me, then please make a donation to my CrowdJustice page and leave a supportive message - a cosmic wink! 

All money goes direct to my legal team and this case has many far reaching implications on many levels that could be a game-changer for the unregulated wealth creation industry.  You can be part of that positive change by supporting me.

Thank you for reading this and for your continued support.  It is appreciated and valued more than you can know.

Have an awesome day and get out and enjoy the sunshine!  That's what I will be doing.

I hope you find the above helpful for any problems you are facing, and I am always here for anyone in distress. My number is 07918 684598 and you can call me any time if you think it would help to talk to me.

Update 63

Vanessa Warwick

July 25, 2023

FCA consulting on financial promotions on social media!

The FCA is consulting on financial promotions on social media, so I'd like to invite you to take part and share your concerns about property trainers using social media for unregulated marketing:

Take part in the FCA consultation

This comes at a time when property trainer Simon Zutshi, who sits on the PRS Advisory Board, has created a video praising Samuel Leeds and saying he's done a good thing by suing me and trying to take over Property Tribes.

Watch the video from 7'10".

It seems Simon is willing to put down a marker as to which side he's on without contacting me for my side of the story to ensure he gets his facts right (which he hasn't), or indeed waiting for court outcomes.

This is a bizarre move by Simon to align his values and ethics with Samuel Leeds and attack a site that has never "campaigned" against Samuel or any property trainer, just allowed substantiated reporting by both satisfied and dissatisfied customers, which is healthy for all.

Thankfully, the truth does not care for anyone's opinion and I am content to wait for the truth to come out.

While here, thank you to everyone who donated after my last appeal, especially Maurice who donated £1,000! I am immensely grateful to Maurice and every single person who has supported me!

Update 62

Vanessa Warwick

July 10, 2023

Lessons from Ocean Gate to be applied to the weatlh creation industry




In my opinion, property gurus rely on people not applying logical thinking to a word they say.

One thing that really infuriates me is how they continually belittle anyone who has a job, even though they themselves have a job teaching others to be just like them. Let's be clear, a job is exchanging time for money, which is what they do in their teaching businesses.

Some recent examples on social media:

A picture of a property guru on a beach on a weekday asking where everyone else was and belittling those that had to work.

A video with a property guru saying how you would learn more from a billionaire in an hour than you would learn at University in 3 years.

My question is this:

Who looks after their sick parent in hospital?

Who takes away their rubbish and re-cycling each week?

Who teaches their children at school?

Who mans the ambulance that comes to their house when a member of their family is sick?

Who flies and maintains the plane to take them on holiday?

Who treats their sick family pet?

Society is made up of wonderful and committed people who are in service to others and help keep things running.

During a visit to the NASA Space Centre in 1962, President Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said: “Hi, I'm Jack Kennedy, what are you doing?” The janitor responded: “I'm helping put a man on the moon, Mr President.” I just absolutely love that quote!

Every person can play an important role and no one is more important than any other person based on their wealth or success, because everyone needs a support team.

This is something to be admired, not put down. Many people - doctors, nurses, vets, reporters, scientists etc - have a vocation, and are not motivated by money. They are rich in integrity, fulfilment, and contentment. Society needs people like this.

If everyone were motivated solely by money, then society would break down.

I of course hope that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential and I support that. People are motivated by different things, and it's not always money or fame or adoration.

Furthermore, not everyone has the circumstances or ability to become financially free, and they rely on employment. Not everyone has the character traits to become wealthy, which could involve unscrupulous behaviour or treading on other people to lift yourself up.

Talking of character traits, if you look at wealth creation experts, many of them have the same character traits of narcissim and grandiousity. It's my opinion that some even exhibit psychopathic tendancies. This gives them an unshakeable sense ouf their own importance and a hugely inflated sense of their own abilities and importance.

This is why they create egosystems to make sure their ego is catered to 24 hours a day and their marketing funnel is the entry point into their egosystem:




Egosystems are very dangerous and unhealthy places where all types of loss will inevtiably take place.

These character traits allow them to manipulate others, decieve, and exploit without any sense of remorse. I believe this makes them a danger to consumers and they can spread their doctrine very wide with the massive reach of social media and there is nothing to stop them.

Interestingly, the recent Titan submersible tradegy has highlighted how dangerous these character traits can be - they can cause death - literally. 

Stockton Rush, CEO of Ocean Gate, had the same character traits as many property gurus. He felt he was above law (via safety standards), he took short cuts, he poo-poohed critcal thinking, he had a massive ego, he sought attention and fame, he surrounded himself with "yes" people and sacked anyone who challenged him, and he was reckless. He believed he and his sub were invincible.

Ocean Gate was the perfect example of an ego-system and 5 people lost their lives because of it.

Taking it one stage further, the Titan submersible itself was an ego-system in miniature. Could you rely on someone with those character traits - with so much to lose - including "face" - to make the right decisions to pilot the sub out of trouble or to call off a mission if there were warning signs?!

Stockton Rush also claimed false connections with Boeing and NASA to give false credibility and social proof.

As an aside, but also related to guru behaviour, according to someone who went on a Titan dive, Stockton Rush also offered discounted tickets to exceedingly wealthy people and then proceeded to try to groom them to invest in Ocean Gate. He lured them into his ego-system for his own ends.

I think these kind of people actually affect people's mental health, making them feel inadequate, making them lose hope, promising them false outcomes, and creating general feelings of discontent, including alienating them from their friends and family who try to warn them. Alongside losing significant sums of money, the negative impact can be huge.

These guru ecosystems suck money out of people at an incredible rate and there are few routes of redress. No wonder gurus can afford high value cars, holidays, lawyers, and houses when they take advantage of a naive people.

Sorry to go on about it, but in recent weeks we've seen these behaviours really ramping up a gear and I find it very concerning, especially as people are becoming more desperate due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Gurus have set their money hoovers to "maximum" to take advantage of other people's distress and naiveity.

For 20 years we've observed a similar pattern of method: They are busy trailing up and down the country in hotels running events, producing podcasts, producing videos, staging marketing stunts, using their kids for marketing, flashing their lavish lifestyle, and generally working every hour possible to keep the marketing funnel topped up. Nice work/job if you can stomach it!

Apply the Ocean Gate tradegy to the wealth creation industry and you should be concerned as I am.

If you think my articles are valuable, and you would like me to continue writing them, please support my fund.

Every penny really does help, as Tesco like to say. :)

DONATE NOW

Thank you for your continued support.

Update 61

Vanessa Warwick

June 29, 2023

Property Hub podcast - My court case & regulation of training industry

I was pleased to meet Rob Dix of Property Hub at the recent "Investors Chronicle" event in London where we were both taking part in a panel debate about the future of property investment.

After the session, I sat and chatted to Rob about how I was facing the biggest defamation damages in the history of the UK courts - £5.4 million - and he said that he wanted to show support for the work I do in the sector and help create awareness of my CrowdJustice campaign, and invited me onto the Property Hub podcast.

I now have the pleasure of sharing this recording and wanted to thank Rob most sincerely for asking questions that have helped me express my situation in such a detailed manner and really dig down into the many concerns around the marketing of property training courses.

In the podcast we discuss the history of my case, how the wealth creation sector is totally unregulated, the methods used by property gurus market to naive people, to control the narrative and stifle public interest commentary, and how dangerous guru ego-systems are to newbies.

Listen to the Property Hub x Vanessa Warwick Podcast

In respect of systems, we wanted Property Tribes to be an "eco-system" - a hive mind of information - because that is a far healthier learning environment than an "ego-system", which is what the gurus operate:



Please support my CrowdJustice fund by making a donation. Every penny goes direct to my legal team to assist with funding my defence.


Update 60

Vanessa Warwick

June 20, 2023

UK judges being handed powers to slap down SLAPPs at an early stage

Oppressive lawsuits brought by wealthy individuals to evade scrutiny and intimidate critics are to be defined in English and Welsh law for the first time, as judges are handed powers to dismiss “Slapps” at an early stage.

Amendments added to the economic crime and corporate transparency bill will bring a swift end to the vast majority of SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation), ministers claim.

The government has been under pressure to legislate on the issue amid concerns Slapps are being used by wealthy individuals to stifle free speech and deter investigations into their affairs by journalists, writers and campaigners.

Full/source article

The claimant in my case regularly takes to social media to warn people how litigious he is and, if they "talk shit" about him, they will be sued.

I believe my court case is being used to intimidate others into silence, using me as an example.

The claimant does not abide by the standards he preaches, and regularly uses his social media channels to attack, humiliate, discredit, defame, harass, and spread negative propaganda about anyone who displeases him.

It may not be too long before he is a subject of a defamation claim himself.

Update 59

Vanessa Warwick

June 8, 2023

Defamation claim struck out in the High Court!

Very interesting and encouraging judgement in the High Court where a defamation case has been struck out.

This case has many of the same hallmarks of the case brought against me:

A major Conservative party donor has had his defamation claim against a former Tory MP struck out by a high court judge, who criticised his conduct.

Full/source article

Update 58

Vanessa Warwick

May 24, 2023

"No money down" property guru goes bust

This really is a fascinating and all too familiar story from the U.S.

A social media property guru has gone bust after using naive investors' funds to invest in apartment blocks.

Even though, or perhaps because he didn't use much or any of his own funds, the whole thing still failed and his investors have lost significant sums of money.

Read the full story

Thank you for your contined support and please make a donation.  Every penny goes direct to my legal team and you can donate anonymously if you prefer by ticking the appropriate box.  Please also leave a comment on your views on the property guru sector and why you are supporting me.

Thank you to all my wonderful CJ donors.

Update 57

Vanessa Warwick

May 16, 2023

BREAKING : Government to crack down on Rent to Rent

The government has vowed to crack down on rent-to-rent operators, where a landlord hands a property to renters who then rent it out to other tenants.

Baroness Jane Scott of Bybrook, a member of the House of Lords, said there are concerns that this makes it harder to identify and hold landlords to account.

She added the government has already handed powers to local authorities to fine landlords who rent out substandard accommodation to the sum of up to £30,000.

Speaking in parliament, she said: “We are determined to crack down on illegal practices in rent-to-rent schemes.”

Full/source article

This is great news! As many of you know, I have campaigned for many years for regulation of the wealth creation industry and these strategies that are known to cause significant consumer losses and bring responsible landlords into disrepute.

For my trouble, I am now facing the biggest defamation damages in the history of the UK courts - £5.4million. Please visit my CrowdJustice page to make a donation to celebrate this news and to show your continued support for my consumer protection work.

Even a donation of £10 makes a difference and helps me fight on!

DONATE NOW

The intention of the claimant is to silence my voice. If you do not agree with that and believe there should be freedom of speech around issues in our sector, please make a donation to help me to continue to be legally represented in this very complex court case.

Rent to Renters have little to no skin the game and increasingly cause financial loss to both landlords and tenants, while giving responsible landlords a bad name and bringing out sector into disrepute.

Promises of not needing any money to get into property provide property trainers with big incomes for training courses attracting people into the sector who may not be in a sustainable financial position to guarantee rents to landlords or manage properties in a professional manner.

Not only are landlords and tenants victims of illegitimate Rent to Rent, but so are students who pay for expensive courses and then find that it is impossible in reality to make it work. Most will not pass affordability checks to be able to rent more than one property and controlling someone else's asset is not a sustainable business.

The sector being unregulated also attracts out and out rogues - including Rent to Rent deal sourcers - who end up defrauding consumers of money and walk away with zero consequences.

DONATE NOW

Thank you for your continued support! I am eternally grateful and I hope to use this court case as a platform for positive change in the wealth creation industry and bring in greater consumer protection and redress for people stung by property gurus/trainers.

Update 56

Vanessa Warwick

March 29, 2023

Meanings hearing - 28th March - court up-date

Thank you to every single person who rooted for me yesterday, who sent good wishes, and for the supporters who turned up to sit in the public gallery.

It was emotionally exhausting day, but I had wonderful support from my incredible barrister, Jonathan Price.

Thank you also to Index on Censorship (who found me Jonathan Price) and the Free Speech Union (who have been a constant source of support). Thank you also to my wonderful husband Nick who supported me yesterday, always steadfast and by my side.

And of course, thank you to YOU, my wonderful CJ supporters.

You may be interested to know that the claim SL has brought against me is for £5.4 million and it's the biggest ever defamation damages claimed in the history of the UK courts.

Yesterday was the trial of the meaning of the statements complained of, and whether they were fact or opinion. In the run-up to the hearing we were able to agree these issues with the lawyers for the claimant. The court will also now make directions for the future conduct of the claim.

The next few months are important because more elements of the claim, the counterclaim, and Leeds’s defence to that counterclaim will become clear as the parties prepare and serve more statements of case so please continue to support my CrowdJustice campaign.

There was recently an article about Samuel in ScreenShot, so awareness continues to grow and this all adds to the on-line picture about him to help consumers make wise decisions when choosing a property trainer.

Thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,
Vanessa

Update 55

Vanessa Warwick

March 21, 2023

I am featured in the Guardian in an article about property "influencers"

I am quoted in an article in the Guardian today about property influnencers using social media like TikTok and youtube to spead their narrative about property investment.

I am disappointed that the article did not address the issues of the unregulated nature of the environment, which is something I spoke to at length about to the journalist, or how these "gurus" give responsible landlords a bad name by their claims of easy riches and wealth through property.

The improbable rise of landlord influencers: ‘I’m not taking advantage of anybody’

My comment in the article:

Vanessa Warwick, a former MTV presenter who runs Property Tribes, an online platform for landlords, has also been sued by Leeds; she has launched a counterclaim against him for defamation and harassment. Leeds denies these allegations, while Warwick has denied being involved in a Facebook group that has been critical of Leeds.

Warwick, who has been a landlord for 30 years, tells me she has wider concerns about the role of some property influencers. “There are people out there looking for an easy fix, or a way out of a desperate situation, who may be impressionable or naive and will be attracted to these ‘wealth-creation experts’,” she says.

Update 54

Vanessa Warwick

March 10, 2023

Please don't let misogyny fuel this case against me

I want to talk about something very concerning in the property sector, and that is misogyny.

Two property gurus recently became public advocates of Andrew Tate. This comment on facebook gives one potential and very plausible explanation.




As many of you will be aware, Samuel Leeds' harassment campaign of myself, which has been on-going since May 2019, has many misogynistic and disturbing undertones which I discussed in this video.



Samuel's brother Russell Leeds also made a video suggesting that I was "tired" of my husband Nick and that I was sexually obsessed with Samuel as a way to explain the many threads about Samuel on Property Tribes - none of which were started by me.

In that video, Russell Leeds even described Samuel's attacks on me as "brutal" seeming to relish in that.

As mentioned, Samuel Leeds' interview with Tate generated 5 million views.

I estimate that earned him somewhere in the region of £200,000.

Samuel can use that money to sue women like myself who are out there protecting consumers from people like him and Andrew Tate!

It's just so wrong.

DONATE NOW

Thank you for being on this journey with me and thank you for your continued support.

My first court hearing is on the 28th March at the High Court in London and I am genuinely looking forward to it.

Update 53

Vanessa Warwick

March 1, 2023

Landmark court ruling on Rent to Rent

Landlords are today welcoming a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court which provides vital clarification about the responsibilities of so called ‘rent-to-rent’ companies.

The ruling in the case of Rakusen v Jepsen will have important implications for the private rented sector as a whole.

In the case, the landlord, Mr Rakusen, agreed to let a flat to a rent-to-rent company. The property required a licence, but the company did not apply for one.

As a result of the failure to be licenced, the former tenants of the flat sought a Rent Repayment Order against Mr Rakusen rather than the rent-to-rent company – even though he had not received rent directly from the tenants.

Rent-to-rent companies take over the running of a property for a landlord.

At an initial tribunal it was ruled that the Rent Repayment Order could be applied for against Mr Rakusen. The Court of Appeal however later overturned the decision and ruled in Mr Rakusen’s favour.

Today, the Supreme Court has ruled that where rent-to-rent companies take over the running of a property, they cannot shirk responsibility and expect to leave the landlord to pay for their legal failings.

See our other current discussions on the topic of Rent to Rent:

 Rent to rent mess. Crime or not?

Two huge Issues I see with R2R

Rent to Rent chancers on the rise

I am delighted with this ruling and I believe it takes us one step closer to regulation of the Rent to Rent sector.

Update 52

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 22, 2023

Samuel Leeds being discussed on Reddit

There's been a very long thread on Reddit discussing Samuel Leeds and it's far from complimentary.

One of the posters has posted that they've been threatened with legal action via a private message from a shiny new account:


Not a single comment on the Reddit thread mentions me or Property Tribes, but the private message tries to link the thread as something to do with a fake "hate" campaign which is why Samuel is bringing the High Court cases.

The comments on Reddit mostly reference the BBC documentary and Mike Winnet's video. Samuel Leeds is not taking legal action against the BBC, and I think he managed to get the Mike Winnet video about him put on "unlisted" on youtube via making legal threats to Mike.

Samuel is using my court case as an example to intimidate others into silence which is once again trying to shut down public interest commentary by legal threats.

Glad to see the transparency of the web thwarting Samuel's attempts to control the narrative yet again!

Update 51

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 8, 2023

House of Lords committee wants action to tackle "lawfare"

A parliamentary committee has written to the Ministry of Justice and DCMS calling for action to tackle the use of so-called SLAPPs (strategic litigation against public participation) by wealthy individuals to silence their critics, a process also known as “lawfare”.

The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and Digital called for: the creation of a new SLAPPs defence fund paid for by wrongdoers; more action from the regulator and multi-million pound increases in fining powers to deter abusive lawsuits; greater oversight of law firms using ‘black PR’ and private intelligence agencies to harass journalists; and action to close loopholes around money laundering and legal advice.

Full/source article

Update 50

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 1, 2023

Wonderful 5 star review for Property Tribes!

So appreciative of this review.  

Update 49

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 30, 2023

Thank you Bob Seely MP! Telegraph article on SLAPPs

‘Legal gangsters’ who try to silence critics exposing wrongdoing ‘should face £1m fines’

‘Noxious’ lawsuits by expensive firms to wrongly intimidate journalists and campaigners should face large punishment, says Tory MP.

Read the full article

Good to see the anti-SLAPPs movement gaining momentum. 

Update 48

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 28, 2023

Editor of the Mirror says increasing use of SLAPPs in the UK "stinks"

The Editor of The Mirror, Alison Philips, has spoken out on BBC "Question Time" about the use of SLAPP cases in the UK, in relation to the Nadim Zahawi tax scandal.

Phillips said these threats of being sued is seen all over the country right now, as ″very rich people are using the law to evade proper scrutiny.”


Full/source article

She said the use of SLAPPs to shut down scrutiny in the public interest "stinks".

Well said Alison!

Update 47

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 26, 2023

Parliamentary Committee writes to government calling for action to tackle SLAPPs

A parliamentary committee has written to the Ministry of Justice and DCMS calling for action to tackle the use of so-called SLAPPs (strategic litigation against public participation) by wealthy individuals to silence their critics, a process also known as “lawfare”.

The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and Digital called for: the creation of a new SLAPPs defence fund paid for by wrongdoers; more action from the regulator and multi-million pound increases in fining powers to deter abusive lawsuits; greater oversight of law firms using ‘black PR’ and private intelligence agencies to harass journalists; and action to close loopholes around money laundering and legal advice.

The committee has also demanded explanations from the Treasury over how the head of a Russian paramilitary group was granted an official licence to pursue legal action against a UK journalist, despite being subject to official sanctions.

Letter to the Chancellor

The letters come after the committee took evidence at a hearing on 24 January about a lawsuit taken by Yevgeny Progozhin against British journalist Eliot Higgins, founder of investigative website Bellingcat.

Mr Progozhin, who was subject to sanctions, sued Mr Higgins over reports about his ownership of the Russian paramilitary firm Wagner Group. The committee heard reports that HM Treasury had then enabled Mr Progozhin’s British lawyers to bypass sanctions to enable them to pursue a libel case against the British journalist. Mr Higgins has reportedly been left with an estimated £70,000 in legal costs.

The Committee has called on the Chancellor to release information on the processes which led to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation facilitating this case; how many similar cases have occurred in the past five years; and actions being taken to prevent similar occurrences in future.

Letter to Ministry of Justice and DCMS

The Committee has called on the Justice Secretary and Culture Secretary to take stronger action against SLAPPs and encourage more action from the regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Committee calls for:

  •       SLAPPs to be included in the National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists, to provide a mechanism for reporting issues and receiving advice and support.
  •       A SLAPPs defence fund, paid for in part by those pursuing SLAPP cases. This could involve using fines levied by the regulator, or enabling a court to order SLAPP claimants to contribute to the defence fund.
  •       Greater action from the regulator, which the committee noted had “not provided a sufficient deterrent” against SLAPPs so far.
  •       Increasing the regulator’s “inadequate” fining powers from £25,000 to £250 million, in line with its fining powers for other issues.
  •       Increasing oversight of the relationship between law firms and ‘black PR’ and private intelligence organisations, which may be used as part of a SLAPP case to monitor and intimidate journalists.
  •       Closing money laundering loopholes which currently have limited application to the payment for legal advice. The committee noted this was “ironic” as money laundering is itself often a subject of investigative journalism, and the illegitimate funding could be used to pay law firms to silence journalists’ investigations into such activities.

Chair comment

Committee chair Baroness Stowell of Beeston said: “The current level of activity to tackle SLAPPs is wholly inadequate. The regulator is not properly equipped with the powers necessary to deter law firms against abusive practices. But it needs to demonstrate greater boldness in holding law firms to account to inspire greater confidence.  The decent law firms will stand to gain from a strong regulator and should support the SRA in being much more proactive and open in their investigations and penalties.

"Meanwhile the Treasury is apparently helping sanctioned Russian paramilitary owners pursue libel cases against UK journalists. We have called for clarity on how this was allowed to happen and how we can ensure it never happens again.” 

Update 46

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 20, 2023

Free Speech Union support my case!

I am delighted to report that the Free Speech Union have got behind my case to create awareness of it!

They have emailed the below to their database of 10K+ members!

SLAPPs – join the fightback and show your support for two crowdfunders

The UK Government is increasingly concerned that Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation – or ‘Slapps’ as they are more commonly known – represent a growing threat to free speech within the law and the rule of law, which are fundamental parts of the democratic tradition. And with good reason. According to the Times, Britain is now the “global capital for Slapps, with more court cases initiated here than in America and the European Union combined”.

The complicated acronym in fact hides a remarkably simple tactic. According to the Ministry of Justice’s recent consultation on the challenges presented by the increasing use of this form of litigation, Slapps are libel or privacy cases brought by wealthy companies or individuals where the primary objective is not to win the legal action – which may in fact be all but guaranteed to fail – but to “harass, intimidate and financially and psychologically exhaust one’s opponent via improper means”.

It’s in this context that the FSU has decided to share details of legal crowdfunders set up by two separate parties – Andrew Burgess and Vanessa Warwick. Both Andrew and Vanessa are currently being sued by the same person for defamation in what look like Slapp cases. The person bringing the lawsuits is Samuel Leeds, the man behind Property Investors, a company that was the subject of a recent BBC ‘Inside Out’ investigation. While we do not necessarily accept either defendant’s view of their respective cases – that is a matter for the Court – we believe that they should have a fighting chance of being able to defend themselves. To find out more about each case and to show your support should you want to give it, click here and here.

______________ End of email ______________

The Free Speech Union was started by Toby Young, Associate Editor of "The Spectator", who has a very significant social media following. The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan, mass-membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of it's members and other people affected by "cancel culture."

You can join the Free Speech Union for as little as £2.50 per month to support their work and take part in their campaigns and events.

I know it's a lot of ask but if you could celebrate with me by adding a few more pennies to my page, that would be awesome!

DONATE NOW

My new interview on Property Tribes continues my consumer protection work and explains the importance of due diligence and it was undertaken with one of my lovely CJ supporters, Graham Turrell!

The interview came about because Graham was emotionally moved by one of my recent CJ up-dates about vulnerable people being exploited for financial gain, and he got in touch with me to express his support because it had a particular resonance with him personally.

We ended up talking about the importance of due diligence and I invited him onto a zoom call to share his views:

Due diligence is key in 2023

There is also an interesting thread starting on Property Tribes, by someone who wants to make a property education review portal:

Property education reviews

It highlights some of the key challenges of how difficult it is to protect consumers in this sector.

On a final note, there's been a lot about "cancel culture" in the media and commentary over the last week and that it's not actually about redress at all, but people seeking vengeance with hatred and malice. That certainly resonates with me.

As always, thank you for your continued support and I hope to have more positive news shortly!

DONATE NOW

Warm regards,
Vanessa

Update 45

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 19, 2023

House of Lords to debate SLAPPs

Lords Communications Committee to take evidence from the regulator and industry figures on the use of lawfare to silence critics

The House of Lords Communications Committee will next week take evidence on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs).

SLAPPs are used to bring or threaten legal proceedings against journalists, academics and others to silence criticism and discourage scrutiny of individuals or organisations that may be in the public interest. The Committee has raised serious concerns around the use of SLAPPs and has previously written to the Lord Chancellor to call for action.

The Committee is holding next week’s session to examine the adequacy of the Government’s legislative proposals; investigate practical measures to support those facing SLAPP cases in the meantime; and hold the regulator to account.

The Committee will hold two evidence sessions on Tuesday 24 January in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords. Giving evidence to the Committee will be
2:30pm

·         Susan Coughtrie, Director at the Foreign Policy Centre

·         Catrin Evans KC

·         Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary at the National Union of Journalists

3:30pm

·         Paul Philip, Chief Executive Officer at the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Areas the session is likely to cover include:

·         How far the Government’s proposals to deal with SLAPPs will be effective.

·         Further non-legislative options to deter SLAPPs and support those facing SLAPP cases (such as expanded legal support, or greater publicity around wrongdoing).

·         The adequacy of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s response to SLAPPs.

·         Allegations that solicitors are receiving laundered money to fund SLAPP cases and how this should be addressed.

Update 44

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 5, 2023

My fight for justice continues in 2023

Yesterday, I had two one hour phone calls with people who had lost money to the wealth creation industry. I didn't ask them to pay for my time, I just listened to their situation and offered what advice and support I could.

One of them very kindly made a donation to my CrowdJustice page and left this exceedingly kind comment.

  •  Horness pledged £100
    Match Horness's pledge of £100 

    In an industry of false prophets Vanessa has consistently given clear, professional, expert advice and the Property Tribes community has given so much back to the property industry and aspiring landlords. As a result, the industry and the tenants benefit from their professionalism.


I cannot tell you how much these comments assist me in fighting on.

I won't deny that I have had some very low days recently with all the malicous content Samuel Leeds has put out about myself in his attempts to "cancel" me and crowing that he is "cleaning up the industry" by getting me discredited.

This is deeply ironic based on all the negative commentary about Samuel Leeds, and the fact that he's promoted Andrew Tate and lauded him as some kind of mentor and person to aspire to! It is internet property gurus who needed to be cleaned up, not those providing help and protection to their dissatsified students in what is a completely unregulated sector with few routes of redress!

I have dedicated 13 years of my life to protecting consumers. I have never charged for my private time or advice to assist them, many of them from the BAME property community.

Over the years, I have spent hundreds of hours on the phone listening to their tales of financial loss, the mental health issues it has caused them, how it has disrupted their relationships. Many have provided statements for my court case, for which I am very grateful.

I regard it as a privilege that they feel they can reach out to me for support, as support is very lacking in terms of financial loss. Many people cannot talk to family and friends about it through feeling ashamed. I cannot always help, but I can listen and try and assist them in getting over their encounter with the "wealth creation" industry.

Financial loss is so much more than just losing money. It can destroy families and it can also destroy people's hope for a better future. It can destroy their confidence and one 23 year old lad with learning disabilities on benefits told me he had lost hope because it was all made to sound so easy that he felt a complete failure when he could not get a single Rent to Rent deal or sell a single property deal - despite trying over a sustained period.

Samuel's lies hurt me deeply, but I know that justice will prevail and with my multitude of supporters - many of them key names in our sector - I will come through this.

I just wanted to thank you all for your on-going support and to wish you all the very best for 2023.

Update 43

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 21, 2022

Samuel Leeds - hypocrisy exposed

As many of you know, Samuel Leeds has criticised me as a landlord and made all sorts of vile and unfounded accusations about me and how I treat tenants.  I've just been sent this video which shows the hypocrisy of this man who continues to harass and defame me.

Update 42

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 26, 2022

Vile video Samuel Leeds made about me deleted by TikTok for "hate speech"

Samuel Leeds, who falsely accused me of racism in a video has had the video about me deleted off TikTok for "hate speech"!  So glad at least one platform could see through his lies and misinformation and fabricated evidence.

Furthermore, his story has changed.

In the deleted video he said his undercover filming footage was a woman refusing to RENT to a BAME man (which he tried to connect to me), now he's saying she refused to allow him to view a property for SALE. He cannot even keep up with his own lies.

Watch the video
Update 41

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 26, 2022

Samuel Leeds has hostile intentions towards Property Tribes

Hopefully you haven't been exposed to the defamatory / harassing content Samuel Leeds continues to release about myself and Property Tribes.

It's very clear that Samuel Leeds is trying to gain control of Property Tribes with malicious intent.

Property Tribes is the only forum in the UK that allows substantiated commentary and Leeds wants to be able to get the threads about him on PT removed via this hostile action.

This is an attack on freedom of speech and we all need to stand firm against it.

If you care about Property Tribes and the service it provides to the public, please make your voice heard on social media and also please continue to support my CrowdJustice fund.

DONATE NOW

It is my belief that Samuel Leeds is trying to finish this before his court case goes before a judge in February because he knows his case has no merit.

DONATE NOW

Please join me in standing up to this man who is trying to destroy a legitimate and ethical business that helps protect consumers from people like him!

Thank you for your continued support.

Update 40

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 20, 2022

Samuel Leeds escalates his harassment campaign against me

Samuel Leeds has released another highly defamatory and harassing video, again claiming that I am a racist, and claiming that he is now the co-owner of Property Tribes and that he's bought the site to clean up the (non-existent) racism within it.

In the video, he attempts to humiliate me and say that he's now my "boss" and he's going to "sack" me. He also says he's going to stop me getting speaking engagements or working in the industry.

You can see Nick's response here:

Samuel Leeds | Shareholder in PT - claims

The level of harassment is off the scale and I've now spoken to the police and they are going to take action. An officer is coming to see me on Tuesday and take my statement.

It's bizarre and extreme behaviour to say the least as it confirms 100% that Leeds is the harasser here and that his agenda is malicious, hateful, vengeful, and highly personal.

If you care about the future of Property Tribes and helping support the only platform in our sector that allows freedom of speech and substantiated commentary to protect consumers, please find a few more pennies to support me.

DONATE NOW

Thank you again for being there for me and for all the messages I've received offering support and solidarity.

Update 39

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 3, 2022

Samuel Leeds featured in article in VICE magazine

VICE magazine have published an article that includes him in a less than favourable light.

TikTok’s Latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme? Renting Out Flats You Don’t Own.

It's good to see more mainstream media highlighting the concerns that I myself have raised over Rent to Rent and vulnerable young people being sold Rent to Rent training courses.

I published a story today about another case I've come across concerning another "no money down" strategy promoted by Samuel Leeds, namely lease options:

Property training fall out - "My son is a shadow of his former self"

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have been affected by any of these stories. I will always do what I can to try and help. My email is vanessawarwick (at) iloud.com.


Update 38

Vanessa Warwick

Oct. 25, 2022

I have been appointed to the Property Redress Scheme advisory panel

I am delighted to report that I have been appointed to the Property Redress Scheme advisory panel.

The PRS is a government-approved ombudsman and compliance service regulating the activities of both sales and lettings agencies.

My appointment and input will help shape their policies going forwards with a particular focus on holiday lets, Rent to Rent, lease options, and deal sourcers/sourcing.

You can read more here.

This appointment further cements my status in the sector as a commentator and advocate of landlords and I am looking forward to the two annual advisory panel meetings to share my views and promote best practice in our sector.

Update 37

Vanessa Warwick

Oct. 20, 2022

I am a finalist in "Property Influencer of the Year"

This is a great honour for me and I will be attending the Awards Ceremony in London in November.

Thank you for your continued support.

Update 36

Vanessa Warwick

Sept. 26, 2022

Lease options - how many more failures before people wise up?

Here's another reminder of the importance of the consumer protection work I do.

Stung by a Lease Options Contrepreneur!

As you will read, over 50 people in a lease options intake by disgraced guru Rick Otton were unable to do even one lease option. (Rick Otton received the largest ever fine in Australian corporate history for "deceptive marketing" over the way he marketed lease options to vulnerable and naive people).

Rick Otton brought lease options in residential property to the UK and spawned a whole raft of people who also taught it and later went bankrupt, including Daniel Burton, Ben Rogers, Glenn Armstrong, and Phil Martin. Otton himself was found to have never completed on a a single lease option!

Samuel Leeds also promotes this strategy as a "no money down" way to get involved in property so caveat emptor ....

Update 35

Vanessa Warwick

Sept. 17, 2022

Regulated advisors say "the entire property sector should back Vanessa"

A few days ago I was delighted to be a guest on the LM Experience Podcast hosted by Stuart Gregory and Martin Stewart, who are both well-known and respected mortgage brokers.

We discussed my property journey and also my legal battle.

Martin made a very sage observation. He said that the naive people buying onto wealth creation courses "read the headline, not the bottom line". That is so true!

They also urged the entire property community to back my CrowdJustice fund as they felt my case was so important in raising standards and protecting consumers from financial loss by spending money with unscrupulous and unregulated operators.

To quote Martin: "It's very important that the industry comes together on this one and not leave you out there in the cold on your own like a martyr. Lenders and professional bodies should support this. This is a really big thing for our industry. It affects all our credibility, and ultimately it affects the consumer, and that's why we have regulation".

We go on to discuss possible ways that the wealth creation sector could be regulated.

You can listen to the LM Podcast here:



For those that missed it, here's a link to the PT discussion about the Guardian article about Samuel Leeds using legal threats to shut down commentary, including sending a legal threat to Carrie Jones, the sister of training student Danny Butcher, who sadly took his own life.

Carrie contacted her MP to discuss more support  by way of financial education for people leaving the Armed Services, and Mr. Leeds took exception to her going to her MP.

Samuel Leeds bringing multiple court cases - Guardian article

Thank you again for your on-going support. It means the world to me and you are helping me retain legal representation.

DONATE NOW

Update 34

Vanessa Warwick

Sept. 11, 2022

Guardian article - Samuel Leeds bringing multiple legal cases

The Guardian's Legal Affairs correspondent, Haroon Siddique, has published an article about the numerous High Court legal cases Samuel Leeds is bringing, including mine.

Property investor accused of shutting down criticism over £10,000 courses

The accusation was brought by Carrie Jones, the sister of Danny Butcher, who was featured in a BBC documentary in early 2020 after he took his own life, following getting further into debt after signing up for the Samuel Leeds Academy.

Carrie and her family received a legal threat from Samuel's solicitors, Ellisons, for contacting their MP about Danny's case and also commenting on social media about him and his training.

The excuse given by Ellisons in the article as to why Samuel did not contact the family is disingenuous, because there is no "hate campaign" and any backlash against Samuel was following the documentary, which was published months after Danny's death, giving Samuel Leeds plenty of time to contact the family and address their grievances before the documentary aired.

Next month marks the third anniversary of Danny's death.

Update 33

Vanessa Warwick

Aug. 26, 2022

New drone video emerges of the Ribbesford House project

You may be familiar with Samuel Leeds' "castle" project?

It's called Ribbesford House and things have not gone according to plan with the refurbishment of it.

A new video has emerged on youtube which features drone aerial shots of the property.

Samuel Leeds | Ribbesford House

It would appear that the work on Ribbesford House has been stalled for a significant time period and the property has deteriorated as a result. This is why it was placed on Historic England's "At Risk" register.

There is no evidence of work on the site and, due to inflation, the costs of refurbishing it must be sky-rocketing.

As it's a Grade II listed building, there are legal obligations to maintain it and there can be severe financial consequences for owners who do not comply.

Update 32

Vanessa Warwick

Aug. 15, 2022

Samuel Leeds promoting questionable Rent to Rent "success"

It's been posted by a lettings agent on Property Tribes that Samuel Leeds has been once again promoting "successful" students who are not what they claim to be.

You can read here how Merleen Gocan has been taking money for serviced accommodation and not passing it on to the landlord.

Warning - Merleen Gocan

The young man in the video - her "business partner" has been identified as Samuel John Hillerby by an eagle-eyed PT member.

If you google his name, this comes up from 2017:

A community worker from Sandy Row who set up a false bank account in the name of a vulnerable elderly resident was starting a 10-month stint behind bars today.

Samuel John Hillerby will spend an additional 10 months on licence when he is released from custody after a Crown Court judge determined that he deliberately targeted a “vulnerable” man who was partially blind man and had dementia.

Hillerby, who is originally from Belfast and whose address was given as Horizon House in the Battersea Reach area of London, originally denied charges of fraud by false representation and claimed he was helping the pensioner out.

However, the 29-year old former youth worker later admitted three counts of fraud by false representation dating back to 2014.

Additionally, on Companies House, his lettings agency is flagged as having accounts overdue, just like his business associate Merleen.

It would appear that this pair greatly exaggerated their success on their "Winners on a Wednesday" video, and Samuel clearly did not do any due diligence to verify their claims as he recommends them as R2R deal sourcers on the video narrative.

Forgive me for banging on about it, but this once again highlights why the wealth creation industry needs urgent regulation and why, in the absence of that, community-generated commentary and due diligence is vital to protect consumers and help them make wiser choices.

Update 31

Vanessa Warwick

Aug. 2, 2022

Interview with Maxine Fothergill about social media harassment

In early July, I had the pleasure of meeting Maxine Fothergill, Immediate Past President, ARLA Propertymarkat the Landlord Investment Show in London.

Maxine was keen to talk to me about my CrowdJustice campaign as she herself had been the victim of harassment for a period of 5 years, and, when the police failed her, she had to take out a private prosecution. It cost her £70K, but she won, and she was able to end the harassment and the huge negative impact it had on her life and business.

On-line harassment is prolific across the internet, but it also occurs in our sector.

Men harass men, women harass women, and women harass men, but when a man harasses a woman, there is very often a misogynistic element, as was the case for both Maxine and myself.

Some of you may recall, that a video was made about me by Russell Leeds (Samuel Leeds' brother) and his ex-business partner, Alasdair Cunningham, suggesting that my marriage was in trouble, I was "tired" of my husband, and that "I fancied a bit of Samuel". Watch the video here from 21' 38".

That I retaliated to this juvenile and puerile commentary, describing Samuel as "repulsive", forms part of his defamation claim against me.

Harassment of people in property is nothing new.

A few years ago, there was the infamous case of a property trainer retaliating to dissatisfied customers by buying their names as domain web URLs. These dissatisfied clients, who were commenting about him on social media, were told that, if they did not delete their comments and desist from posting about him, he would create websites using their domains and publishing vile material about them that would ruin their lives and businesses.

There was a similar theme in the harassment done against me by "Mark Stephens" who it is clear was acting with Samuel's knowledge and approval.

These property gurus often have large on-line followings and can mobilise them against people applying critical thinking to their claims or writing about their experiences of the training, like Samuel Leeds did to me.

This "threat" of being trolled by the guru's followers often stops people speaking out against financial loss. Many of them fear being shunned by the "network of like-minded individuals" that they paid to be part of.

In this interview, Maxine and I discuss harassment and I give her an exclusive about one of the things that I suffered during Samuel's campaign against me, which has led to this High Court case against me for defamation and harassment, and where I am counter-suing for harassment:


If you have not already done so, I would be very grateful if you could visit my CrowdJustice page and show your support.

There are also further details on that page to help you understand this landmark case.

As stated in the interview, I believe this topic needs to be aired as the wealth creation sector is completely unregulated and there are few, if any, routes of redress for consumers who lose money to unscrupulous property trainers and mentors. As documented above, these individuals can often use bullying and on-line harassment threats to shut down public interest commentary that might assist consumers in making wiser purchasing decisions.

My case is acting as a voice for these people and I hope that it will bring about positive change in the sector.

Thank you for your support.

DONATE NOW

I am very grateful to Maxine for her support, and she joins a growing list of people who are publicly supporting me, including Ben Beadle, CEO of the NRLA, property influencer Chris Watkin, property website Mashroom, the Landlord Investment Project, and Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action.

Scores of others have contacted me and expressed their support privately and also made donations to my campaign.

Ironically, many people who would like to add their voice to my campaign are nervous of doing so through being fearful of receiving a legal threat themselves! Some are even nervous to donate to my campaign, but you can do so anonymously, ticking the appropriate box on your pledge.

If you are experiencing social media harassment, the police have some advice here.

Update 30

Vanessa Warwick

July 29, 2022

"Truth" defence victorious for Colleen Rooney in Wagatha Christie case!

Colleen Rooney has won a landmark victory against Rebekah Vardy in the High Court today!

In a summary of the judgment, Mrs Justice Steyn writes: "The claim has been dismissed. The defendant succeeded in establishing that the essence of the libel was substantially true."

The legal battle was played out in the High Court over 7 days in May and there were many unfortunate revelations concerning the conduct of Rebekkah Vardy.

Mrs. Rooney will now be awarded circa 70% of her costs, which were somewhere in the region of £1million and Mrs. Vardy will be left with her costs to pay as well.

Social media is already citing it as an "own goal" by Mrs. Vardy!

Another social media response resonated with me: "Never try to destroy someone's life with a lie, when your life could be destroyed by the truth".

And so did this tweet: "Proof that money doesn’t buy plain old common sense".

This sends out a strong message to those bringing these vexatious cases that trying to shut down truthful commentary can backfire massively.

Update 29

Vanessa Warwick

July 20, 2022

Government to implement new measures against abuse of defamation proceedings

The Government has today (20 July) published its response to its Call for Evidence on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs).

The Call for Evidence was published on 17 March 2022 inviting views on potential measures for legislative, procedural and regulatory reform. We also ran stakeholder engagement roundtables in early May, inviting evidence from legal and media professionals, civil society organisations and academics, to develop a robust policy base for reform. The Call for Evidence closed on 19 May and received 120 responses, all of which have been individually analysed and assessed.

A great many of the responses were from experts with considerable relevant experience that have reinforced the extent to which SLAPPs represent a serious and growing threat to freedom of expression and investigations, reporting and other activities in the public interest.

As such, the Government’s response will be to pursue the earliest possible opportunity for primary legislation to enable them to have a statutory basis for identifying SLAPP cases and providing effective means for deterring or dealing with them. The intention is to introduce an early dismissal process via primary legislation, and a costs protection scheme via secondary legislation and rule changes.

This is very positive news all round!

If you can make another donation to keep it active, that would be super-awesome.

DONATE NOW

Thank you for your continued support.

Update 28

Vanessa Warwick

June 15, 2022

NRLA CEO Ben Beadle on freedom of speech in property

In this short video excerpt of a longer webinar recording, NRLA CEO Ben Beadle discusses freedom of speech in the property sector and a recent "public interest" defamation ruling that is good for commentators.

Watch the video with NRLA CEO Ben Beadle

Update 27

Vanessa Warwick

June 13, 2022

Good day for public interest commentary ...

... bad day for those who try to silence freedom of speech.

"In the public interest" defence successfully used in high profile defamation case.

Read the judgement summary

Update 26

Vanessa Warwick

May 29, 2022

The Five Horsemen of FURU due diligence

Undertaking due diligence in property is so important.  It's one of the best things you can do to mitigate risk, and therefore financial loss.

I've talked about due diligence a lot, and will continue to so so, as I suspect that most people do not even put someone's name into google before trusting them with significant sums of money!

If you are using google, be sure to go beyond page 1 - even down to page 5 or 6 - as many companies and individuals use reputation management firms to "sink" negative articles.

There are so many free resources to check out potential people and companies to make sure they are what they claim to be.

The following five sites are particularly useful for checking out property trainers and deal sourcers - FURUS = fake gurus - and they are all free or low cost to access:

1. Companies House

I have written an extensive article on this, so will not replicate this here.

See - How to use Companies House for due diligence

The main thing to look out for is lots of dissolved companies and/or over-due accounts.

Over-due accounts is a red flag as it means that the company is administratively delinquent.

Anything red on Companies House is a clear warning sign.


If a company is not administrated property, this should be a warning sign that something else might be wrong, or that the company is in some kind of financial trouble.

2. Endole

Endole brings the best of software and data together to achieve a new standard of business intelligence.

It will give you a lot of the data from Companies House but also provides a financial snapshot of the health of that company.

Here is a screenshot of Kingsman Property on Endole. This company recently went bust and lost over £6million of Investors' money.

See - Kingsman Property/Sam Eustace collapse


The important metric to note is "net assets". If they are negative, then that is a cause for concern. Again, metrics of concern are in RED.

If there are very few, or no assets at all, then maybe that company is not as successful as claimed in their marketing. You should also undertake this process on the other companies of the Company Director/s, as this will give you a fuller picture of their overall net worth.

If a company has significant negative net assets and little cash in the bank, then it might be higher risk to do business with them imho.

3.  Trust On-line

TrustOnline is operated by Registry Trust and provides access to the official statutory Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for England and Wales on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. Registry Trust also provides access to the Registers for Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and the Republic of Ireland by agreement with the authorities in those jurisdictions.

TrustOnline is the only service which provides members of the public and businesses with immediate access to search the complete Register.

This is a really useful tool for looking for CCJs. You need the address of the individual to search on though. It is a paid-for service, but a search in England is £6.00. Money well spent!

Earlier this week I was able to use Trust On-line to check on a rogue Rent To Rent deal sourcer and found he had two unfulfilled CCJs at the address I was provided with.

Do bear in mind that Rent to Renters might have several properties that they can use as their address, so there could be more CCJs than just the ones attached to a property that you have an address for.

Unfulfilled CCJs are a big red warning flag as it's a County Court Judgement where the person has not settled with the individual who took them to court.

4.  Independent Redress Schemes

Anyone working as any kind of deal sourcer where they introducer a buyer to a seller, or a tenant to a landlord, is caught by estate agency regulation. This is a highly regulated area and deal sourcers need to be a member of an independent redress scheme. This is a mandatory requirement and non-compliance can result in a significant fine.

The Estate Agents Act 1979 (here) defines

"Estate agency work" as that including work carried out by any person in the course of a business (including employees) following instructions received from a customer who wishes to buy or sell an interest in land:

(a) For the aim and purpose of introducing the customer to a third person who wishes to buy or sell an interest in land, and

(b) Following that introduction in the course of that business, has the aim of securing the purchase or sale of that interest

"Lettings agency work" is defined as things done by an agent in the course of a business in response to instructions from:

· A private rented sector landlord who wants to find a tenant: or

· A tenant who wants to find a property in the private rented sector.

It applies where the tenancy is an assured tenancy under the Housing Act 1988 (the most common type of tenancy) except where the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing or the tenancy is a long lease. Lettings agency work does not include the following things when done by a person who only does these things:

· Publishing advertisements or providing information

· Providing a way for landlords or tenants to make direct contact with each other in response to an advertisement or information provided

· Providing a way for landlords or tenants to continue to communicate directly with each other.

There are two government approved schemes that deal sourcers can register with:

i.  The Property Redress Scheme

ii.  The Property Ombudsman 

You can visit both sites and search on their "Member List" to find out if a deal sourcer you are thinking of working with is registered with them. If they are, then you have up to £25K compensation if a deal turns sour.

Any sourcer that is not registered with one of these independent redress scheme is essentially a rogue trader, and trading illegally. They can be reported to Trading Standards.

5. ICO

Any business or sole trader who processes personal information must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under the Data Protection Act 2018 and failure to register is a criminal offence.

You can search the ICO register >>> here.

To search all of the above might take about 20 minutes. It could turn out to be a very good use of those 20 minutes. The best way to avoid financial loss is not to enter into a transaction without undertaking intense due diligence and research.

I hope you have found the above article useful. If you have, and would like to support the work I do, I would very much appreciate you heading over to my CrowdJustice campaign page, and, if you believe it to be a worthy cause, making a donation.

Update 25

Vanessa Warwick

May 22, 2022

Property training & refunds - don't fall for dirty tricks

When signing up for property training, you need to be very clear about your consumer rights.

That means reading the small print before you sign anything and hand over money. It's been brought to my attention over the years that the T & Cs of property gurus are often written in tiny writing, full of legal speak, and attention is not drawn to them at the time of signing up. These terms and conditions should also be displayed on their website, but often are not. (Sometimes they do not offer terms and conditions at all, which should be a very big red flag!).

If you cannot read the T & Cs or don't understand them, then do not sign anything is my advice.

Understanding your rights as a consumer also includes being aware of the refund policy of the trainer.

Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, you have 14 days after the date of signing to request a refund.

This is commonly known as the "cooling off" period.

Citizen's Advice has a useful template here that you can use to request a refund.

All good right?

Well, no.

There's an hack used by property gurus in property training that attempts to get round this. Many trainers get people to sign up to expensive training by inviting them onto a free "taster" or "crash" course.

It's come to our attention that the contract is often signed at that event without any knowledge of when the actual training will take place, but one thing you should be aware of is that it's very unlikely to take place within 14 days of your signing up for it.

This is important for your consumer rights.

If you attend the training course two months later and do not feel it was value for money and you ask for a refund, there's a very strong possibility, based on anecdotal evidence, that the trainer will refuse the refund on the basis that it is outside of the "cooling off" period.

However, you're legally entitled to a full refund if you got the product or you started the service less than 90 days ago and you haven't used it all up. For example you bought property training with a number of modules included but you haven't been to them all.

You're legally entitled to a partial refund if any of the following apply:

  • you got the product or started the service over 90 days ago and decided it was mis-represented to you
  • you used a service for a month or more - for example if you signed up to training modules and decided part way through that you were not happy with it.

That is why it is very important that you do not review a training course on TrustPilot based on the free training or take into account reviews from "taster" or "crash courses" when making a buying decision.  In fact, it would be against TP's terms and conditions to do so, as you've not actually had a commercial interaction with the trainer and you've not been on the course you paid for.

However, the vast majority of reviews I see on TrustPilot are from people fresh off free training. Do bear that in mind when reading the reviews as they give no indication of results achieved from the actual paid-for training.

You also have the legal right to a refund if:

  • you feel you were unfairly pressured into buying a product or service you didn't want
  • you were misled about the product or service you bought, such as "you will make the money back on your first deal", or "you will receive one to one mentoring" - but that never materialises.

You might also be able to get compensation for distress or inconvenience.

Regulation 7 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ('the Regulations') prohibits aggressive commercial practices that would 'intimidate or exploit consumers, restricting their ability to make free or informed choices.' In order for an aggressive practice to be unfair it must cause, or be likely to cause, the average consumer to take a different transactional decision.

Being pressured into buying something is known as 'aggressive selling'. Aggressive selling can include things like:

  • using scare tactics to convince you that you need something, such as there are "only a few places left" or "I'm never running this course again"
  • constantly contacting you and pestering you into buying something
  • using guilt to force you to buy something such as you are letting your children down if you don't buy.

If you were misled into buying something, you can also claim a refund.

Misleading selling can include things like:

  • giving you wrong information about the product or service
  • giving you the wrong advice about what product would be best for you
  • wrongly saying you need to buy extra things to make the most of your product
  • exaggerating what the product can do compared to other products
  • advertising something as reduced or a sale item when it wasn't ever sold at full price
  • keeping important information about the product or service hidden or obscured

Even if the seller did these things by mistake, or because they were misinformed, it still counts as misleading selling.

If you think a seller might have been aggressive but you're not sure if you're entitled to a refund you should contact the Consumer Service and explain what's happened. They'll advise you on your rights.

If the seller will not refund your money, there are other steps you can take to solve your problem - these include using ‘alternative dispute resolution’, which is a way of solving disagreements without going to court.

Our experience is that, once most property trainers have your money, you will find it nigh on impossible to get a refund, so that is why it is important you know your consumer rights and can apply them to your request.

If you decide to pay for training, the best consumer protection option is to put the cost on your credit card.

If you paid on a credit card, you may be able to get a refund under Section 75.

See - MBNA vs. Malouf 


Property Tribes also has this useful resource:

How to get your money back from unscrupulous companies ...

It's worth noting that a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 is a criminal offence. Unwary businesses and individuals can face significant financial penalties and prison sentences of up to two years.

Sales techniques that are considered 'aggressive' may also lead to prosecution under the Fraud Act 2006, for making 'false representations' to customers or an 'abuse of position'. Dependent upon factors including the volume of sales, number of victims and their role in the business, individuals and businesses can face significant prison sentences of up to ten years.

Update 24

Vanessa Warwick

May 21, 2022

Property guru sentenced to 6 years in prison for investor fraud

A fraudster who swindled property investors out of nearly £600,000 has been jailed for more than six years.

John Keats-Ormandy, 42, from York, took money from people promising them income from empty homes, which would be refurbished and then rented out.

Bradford Crown Court heard he ran a scheme "robbing Peter to pay Paul" with clients including a cancer patient, carer and driving instructor.

He admitted fraud charges relating to eight potential investors in April.

Prosecutor Andrew Epsley told the court the married father-of-three claimed he had contracts with the Ministry of Justice to house people and promised would-be investors rental income.

But Keats-Ormandy, of Main Street, Sutton-on-the-Forest, defrauded them out of £592,000, including victims' life-savings and pension money, because he had no legal interest in the properties he was advertising, Mr Epsley said.

Full/source article

This is positive news, I am sure you will agree!

John Ormandy has a long and inglorious record of community commentary on Property Tribes, as, over the years, he's managed to get significant sums of money off investors for his various schemes.

I would like to tell you now about a personal experience I had with Mr. Ormandy.

In March 2018, I received a legal threat from his solicitors saying he had a recorded phone call and a witness to say that I had been phoning his clients advising them not to work with him and he was going to take legal action against me for harassment unless all the threads about him were deleted on Property Tribes.

Sounds familiar?

I wrote back and asked him for the date of these phone calls, the name of the witness, and a copy of the alleged phone recording ... because obviously I had never done any such thing and was intrigued to know what his evidence was.

His lawyer wrote back to me saying that I was not entitled to the evidence but that it "came from a very credible source", but did give me the date when I made the alleged phone calls.

On checking my diary, I found that on that date, I was on a ship in the middle of the North Sea with no phone signal and my phone records also backed up that I'd not made any calls on the day in question.

I was able to provide the ship's itinerary and GPS plotting to prove my point.

I once again asked for the name of the witness and a copy of the alleged recording, but unsurprisingly never heard from his lawyers again.

This again shows the lengths rogue property trainers will go to, to shut down public commentary about them. I have been subjected to this kind of abuse and bullying on numerous occasions for simply being the "face" of a forum that allows substantiated commentary that is in the public interest, in the absence of any form of regulation.

That is why my legal fight is so important and I need your continued support.

Update 23

Vanessa Warwick

May 10, 2022

High profile defamation case starts in High Court today

There's a high profile defamation case starting today in the High Court - Rooney vs. Vardy.

The BBC say that the case will cost each woman about £1million each in legal fees and that, whoever wins, will only likely recoup up to 70% of their costs, leaving them a shortfall of £300K to cover.

It is believed any damages awarded will be in the region of £40K to £50K.

Remember, these are two very high profile celebrities who are in the public eye.

I think this illustrates how grossly over-inflated Samuel Leeds' claim against me is.

He is claiming damages of £650K against me for defamation with additional aggravated damages for loss of business, despite saying in one of his own youtube videos that I had not actually caused him any damage, and had in fact sent new customers his way by commenting on him!!

The current ceiling for damages awards in libel actions in the UK is £300,000 as per Mr Justice Warby’s decision in 2017 in Barron v Collins which will appear low in comparison to other areas of law.

These claims do not attract high value settlements as the purpose is to achieve restoration to an individual's reputation and vindication, which can be achieved by way of apology or, if following a trial, a reasoned judgment which can be pointed to, with damages as only a part of the remedies available.

Samuel Leeds' damages claim against me is more than double the highest ever damages award in UK defamation history!

If any of the cases Samuel Leeds is bringing get into court, they will be the defamation trials of the century and attract a lot of media interest.

Worth remembering, that, whatever is said in an open court cannot be defamatory and can be shared in the public interest.

Part of the agenda behind Samuel Leeds' harassment of me, for which I am counter-claiming, was to force me to interview and debate him in public. Well, it would appear, if he carries on this legal case against me, he is getting what he wanted as I will be debating him in an open court room.

Update 22

Vanessa Warwick

April 14, 2022

Samuel Leeds didn't think it through ...

Just a quick heads-up that an interesting discussion is developing on Property Tribes:

Time for the "Big Boys (& Girls)" to Step In?

I think it shows what a positive difference all these legal cases will ultimately have on the wealth creation industry and how much awareness is being raised of the issues within in.

This will continue to resonate long after Samuel Leeds is no longer on the scene.

Happy Easter and thank you for your continued support.

Update 21

Vanessa Warwick

April 6, 2022

Property guru pleads guilty to 11 counts of fraud

A property guru who sent me legal threats in 2018 has pleaded guilty to 11 counts of property fraud and will be sentenced on 20th May.

Property guru John Ormandy guilty of fraud

Good to hear that these charlatans are being held to account!

Update 20

Vanessa Warwick

April 4, 2022

Fact checking Samuel Leeds' latest social media posts

Samuel Leeds has created social media posts and videos claiming that "his greatest internet troll" has received a criminal conviction for malicious communications against him and his family.

What I can tell you categorically is that the conviction has NOTHING to do with me or the case that I am currently involved with.

Update 19

Vanessa Warwick

March 29, 2022

Rent to Rent poster boy goes bust for £1.5m

I wanted to share with you the breaking news that a Rent to Rent poster boy has gone bust for £1.5million.

It's not a Samuel Leeds' student, but it's further proof that the "wealth creation industry" needs further regulation and redress.

Update 18

Vanessa Warwick

March 14, 2022

The use of NLP in property guru marketing funnels

For this up-date, I thought I would share a new thread on Property Tribes which discusses the use of NLP - neuro-linguistic programming - in property guru sales & marketing funnels.

A student recently turned the tables on a guru and used NLP to get a refund!

NLP can be used for good, but it can also be abused for financial gain.

A video has emerged of "mantra chanting", which is part of the indoctrination process. Watch the video. It is quite chilling to see a room full of people joining in this "cult like" behaviour.

It's also interesting to note the comments appearing on my CJ page. People are using it to call out those property trainers who they have lost money to!

Since my last communication, I have been contacted by two individuals who have lost money to Glenn Armstrong and his side-kick Christoz Wild.

These people are like whack-a-mole. They just keep popping up!

That's why I need your continued support to bring attention to the financial loss that is occurring every day of the week. Please either share my campaign and/or drop me another few pennies to keep my campaign alive.

Your support of my campaign is greatly appreciated. The fight continues and I am so grateful to have you all on board and supporting me and providing a platform for positive change and greater awareness, which I hope will assist consumers in making wiser choices about property education.

Warm regards,
Vanessa

Update 17

Vanessa Warwick

March 2, 2022

"No money down" rears its head again!

A conversation happened on Property Tribes last night which brought back unpleasant memories of when the Samuel Leeds mentee started his campaign against me, back in 2019.

Like the above thread, last night's thread started as an innocent question about buying property with no money, to which I responded.

The poster then became gradually more aggressive towards me as he clearly did not like hearing the truth that property is a cash rich business.

From the poster's commentary, it is clear he has been indoctrinated into some guru group.  He even advises me to watch Samuel Leeds' videos as I am clearly not up to speed with how easy it is to become "financially free" with little or no money!

Read the thread and note his utter belief in the idea of "no money down" property investment

On another note, I've recorded a panel debate to preview the Property Investor Show.

It's all about the importance of due diligence in property and you can watch it here. This is such an important topic. Please share on your social media if you agree.

Update 16

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 21, 2022

Momentum is building!

It's amazing to see my fund pass £22K.  I cannot thank my supporters enough!

Momentum seems to be growing as more and more people speak out against the wealth creation sector and how guru marketing hype misleads consumers.

Well known North East landlord, Dislexic Landlord, has joined the fray, calling on the NRLA to seek regulation of this sector after someone she knows personally has been negatively impacted by it:

Property training creating financial hardship

Meanwhile, Youtuber "The Anxious Investor" has posted this video:



The more people that speak out or create content fact-checking misleading marketing claims, the more awareness there is!

Thank you again to everyone who is supporting my campaign, whether it be by donating and/or sharing on social media.

Together, we ARE making a positive difference!

Best,

Vanessa

Update 15

Vanessa Warwick

Feb. 11, 2022

My fund passes £20K!

This is a wonderful milestone and I am so grateful to my 500+ supporters!

I just came across this quote and it seems very apposite:

"The greatest object in the universe, says a certain philosopher, is a good man struggling with adversity; yet there is still a greater, which is the good man that comes to relieve it"- Oliver Goldsmith

Thank you again for your continued support.  It means the world to me.

Update 14

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 31, 2022

Samuel Leeds using lawfare to shut down commentary

Dear CJ backer,

I just thought I would up-date you with the news that Samuel Leeds is now taking High Court legal action against youtuber John Holstead!

https://youtu.be/p76CHWf18LU

Watch the video from 19.40 onwards.

This confirms my claim that Mr. Leeds uses lawfare to shut down anyone who challenges his claims about his property wealth and success, or who writes less than flattering reviews of his training, which consumers are entitled to do.

Meanwhile, his showcase "castle" project, Ribbesford House, is deteriorating to such an extent that it has been highlighted as being "lost to the nation" by Historic England!

In a recent video, when asked how the project was going, Mr. Leeds replied that he "was just waiting on planning permission".

However, a search of the public planning records at Wyre Forest District Council show that no planning applications have been received for Ribbesford House and this was confirmed by the Conservative Officer, who I contacted for clarification.

All of the above once against showcases why it is imperative that I defend this claim and hold Samuel Leeds to account for his fabrications and falsifications to sell expensive property training to vulnerable and naive people.

As one of my CJ backers commented when leaving a donation:

"I’m surprised Mr Leeds wants to go down the legal route. You can ask him, under oath, to back up all his claims of wealth and property success. Lying to the court is perjury and a serious criminal offence".

If there is anything you can do to further support my campaign, such as making another donation, and/or sharing it on social media, I would be eternally grateful.

This is a chance to change the wealth creation industry for the better and stop people losing life-changing amounts of money!

Thank you for your continued support.

Update 13

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 13, 2022

A small victory!

I just want to let you know of a small victory for those people who are standing up to Samuel Leeds.

You may remember that youtuber Jon Halstead had his video removed after Samuel sent a copyright strike to youtube and also threatened him with legal action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjp5uw52F1s&t=5s

Jon challenged this and provided evidence that his video fell under "fair usage" terms and it has now been reinstated!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTVvDYEBblc

It's had over 100K views, which is why Samuel wants it gone.

I came across a great quote recently:

"Truth does not mind being questioned, but a lie does not like being challenged".

This, in my opinion, is why Samuel Leeds threatens legal action to anyone who challenges him.

Today, on facebook, he's claiming to be the "greatest property influencer in the UK"!

Well if you believe, like me, that his influence is negative on our industry, please could you please share my campaign on social media again?

Thank you for your continued support. It's appreciated more than you know!

Best,

V.

Update 12

Vanessa Warwick

Jan. 7, 2022

Why this stand against Samuel Leeds is so needed

Happy new year! I hope you had a peaceful and relaxing festive break.

I wanted to share with you a distressing comment on a youtube video where Samuel was interviewed. It sums up why the "wealth creation" sector MUST be regulated.

This is why Samuel Leeds must be held to account.

In response to a video interview with him, a mentee responded:

"Samuel: ' What have I done that's bad?'  

1. You lie 

2. You disrespect people  

3. You encourage people do make financial decisions purely for your own benefit 

4. You target young kids, clueless about investing and property like myself, and you preach about how easy it is for them to become financially free if they bought your courses. 

Once they fall in the trap all the love, compassion and Christian values are gone. Not only what was promised was not delivered,  but the Academy becomes a way of selling even more courses.  

5. You don't care about anything that happens once someone bought your course. You don't care about people struggling in debt, you don't care about the mental damage produced. 

You say you want to make sure you get the right people on the academy, but all you care about is money. One of the categories of people "right" for your Academy is clueless kids that can potentially get in debt to pay for your Academy. 

What happens  after they get in debt you don't care. This was exactly what happened to me.  

6. Can you explain how is getting into debt to pay for your Academy a good debt?  

7. When I mentioned my debt and how difficult it was to keep up with the payments the only thing I heard from you was that is not your fault that I was I debt.   

I can think of many more particular ones. Can also provide examples and evidences of my experience and how I got treated by you and your team. I know you actually believe your lies, but the truth is you did a lot of bad things to many people like me in the name of help, financial freedom, charity,  & Christianity".

I am sure you agree with me that that young person is struggling and has been mis-led about what can be achieved in property.

I want to stress again how important this legal battle is in getting more protection for consumers from these self-proclaimed wealth creation "experts".

Right now, many naive, desperate, and vulnerable people are thinking of how they can improve their lot in life in 2022.

Please donate and/or share if you can.

All the best for 2022 and thank you for your continued support.

Update 11

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 24, 2021

Samuel Leeds threatening youtuber with legal action

As mentioned on my CrowdJustice campaign page, Samuel Leeds likes to silence anyone who fact checks or challenges him with legal action.

Youtuber Jon Halstead is his latest target. Jon posted a very balanced and non-defamatory review of how he found Samuel Leeds' training Academy.

As a paid up client, Jon is entitled to have an opinion on how that training worked for him.

Samuel got the video removed by youtube based on a copyright breach, as Jon had used a few seconds of Samuel's own footage. Jon has also received legal letters from Samuel's solicitors, Ellisons, threatening him with legal action.

Jon has courageously created a new video called "Samuel Leeds might sue me" to tell his story of how he is standing up to this bullying:

Update 10

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 21, 2021

Interview by industry influencer Chris Watkins

Industry influencer, Chris Watkin, interviewed me recently about my legal battle:



Chris Watkin made this comment to go along with the video.

"There are no shortcuts or quick wins to anything in life, including investing in property. So many landlords or potential landlords have had their fingers burnt and I am passionate that property training needs some form of regulation. Therefore, when I caught up with Vanessa at the PropertyMark Conference, I wanted to highlight the cause”, 

Those of you on LinkedIn might like to join and/or share this discussion started by Chris Watkin.

Join LinkedIn discussion about regulation of property trainers

Thank you to Chris for his support of my case.

Update 9

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 18, 2021

Shining a light

Please see my new article:

Shining a light

Update 8

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 17, 2021

The toxic rise of social media "property experts"

An excellent new article here by The Landlord of Property Investment Project fame.

The toxic rise of social media property experts

Thank you to everyone who has found there way here via this article, and I really appreciate your support!

Update 7

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 16, 2021

Discussion with NRLA CEO, Ben Beadle

Yesterday, on the final "Landlord Lens" webinar of the year, which I host with NRLA CEO Ben Beadle, we discussed the wealth creation industry.

Update 6

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 15, 2021

Ethan Leeds - Samuel's father's in on the harassment act?

On the 20th May 2019, I managed to get a malicious website called vanessawarwickexposed.com removed by the company hosting the site, as it was an abuse of their terms and conditions.

The following day, the 21st May, 2019 Samuel Leeds' father, Ethan Leeds made a very telling post on facebook asking about how to stop websites being taken down:



Quite amazing timing/coincidence don't you think?!

If you read my previous up-dates, I've now evidenced harassment from 5 males associated with the Samuel Leeds business:

Samuel Leeds

Russell Leeds

Alastair Cunningham

James Armstrong

Ethan Leeds

Further evidence that Samuel Leeds' business is very much a "family affair".

Update 5

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 10, 2021

James Armstrong of Acquerir - evidence of harassment

James Armstrong is Samuel Leeds' brother in law and runs a company called Acquerir which offers "investors" a 66% fixed return on monies "invested" with them ( ( ... yes, let that sink in ... an interest rate of 66%.)

On the 20th May 2019, one day after the anonymous malicious communications campaign started against me, James Armstrong miraculously stumbled across the newly created website "vanessawarwickexposed.com" and shared in on Samuel's facebook group.

In a long and morally superior diatribe, he wrote how I was "chief inciter" of hatred against newbies trying to get onto the property ladder, that I "blatantly fabricated" arguments about Samuel Leeds, and that I "lacked the fortitude" to debate anything with Samuel Leeds.

(No evidence of the above claims was provided).

He then went on to suggest that I "step up" and meet with Samuel for an interview, and then helpfully provided a link to the newly created malicious website ... thus echoing the harassment for me to meet Samuel in person for an interview, the shared mission of all Samuel's own activities against me.

Mr. Armstrong finished with a long testimonial for how wonderful Samuel's training was without disclosing that he was his brother in law.

Samuel Leeds' business seems very much a "family affair".

Update 4

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 7, 2021

Russell Leeds and Alastair Cunningham harassment evidence

I'd like to invite everyone reading this page to see how Samuel Leeds' brother  and CEO of his company, Russell along with his business partner Alastair Cunningham, participated in the harassment campaign against me by creating a video:

Russell Leeds and Alastair Cunningham harassment of Vanessa Warwick

Watch the video from 15 minutes onwards. The video was subsequently edited to remove some of the more harassing content, but there is still plenty left.

That the CEO of a business and another male associated with the business should join in with such harassing and juvenile content is quite extraordinary and speaks volumes about the morals and ethics of that business.

This pair tell multiple lies about me, and then conclude that I have a sexual obsession with Samuel Leeds. The video is humiliating and caused me distress, as you can imagine.

Although he is CEO of the company, when I rang Russell Leeds on the 19th May 2019 to ask for his support in stopping the malicious communications campaign against me, he said that he was unable to assist and that I had "to speak to Samuel". It seems strange that a CEO did not have any control or did not exhibit any desire to stop the company's brand being associated with malicious activity.

The above video is further evidence of the Leeds harassment campaign against me.

Update 3

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 3, 2021

You did it!

Yay!  My initial target has been reached and exceeded!

Thank you to every single person who has supported this. I am so grateful.

I also got coverage in Property Industry Eye this morning.

I will now continue campaigning for my "stretch" target.

Thank you again for your generous and continued support.

Update 2

Vanessa Warwick

Dec. 2, 2021

You are making a positive difference

My dear CJ backers,

Thank you so much for your continued support.

I wanted to let you know that I believe this campaign is going to have a far-reaching and positive impact on protecting consumers because Samuel Leeds is not the only trainer promising what I call "a ticket to see a Unicorn".

The more people that are aware of what is happening here, the more awareness there will be of the dangers of unregulated property courses that cost many thousands of pounds - often which would equal the deposit on a BTL.

This is the first legal case of its kind that I am aware of, and I am committed to seeing it through and holding Samuel Leeds to account for his bullying and harassment of me.

If he can do this to me, what chance does a young and vulnerable person have of standing up to him and getting redress if they find out they have been mis-sold or do not receive what they paid for?

I am close to reaching my first target now, and a large portion of donations have come from sharing on social media, so please could I ask you if you could share again for me on twitter, facebook, Linked In, other property forums and groups etc.?

Also, if all my wonderful 240+ backers donated another £10.00, we could reach the target today!

This campaign is not just about me, it's about the thousands of people over the years who have lost life-changing amounts of money to property trainers and ended up with nothing to show for it, some people being in an even worse of position than before they met that trainer or mentor.

This could be your parents, your brother, your sister, your best friend ...

In his blogs, Samuel Leeds described me as a person who had failed at anything I had ever attempted in life, and that I was a sad, jealous, and bitter woman who envied his life and success.

Well, the above is completely false on all counts and I know that the people who matter know this.

Thank you all for having my back on this. Your support is appreciated more than you know and will make a positive difference. I am determined that it will.


Update 1

Vanessa Warwick

Nov. 28, 2021

This campaign will be a force of positive change

Thank you so much to every single person who has donated to my CJ campaign. It means more than you know.  You have raised £4K in less than 48 hours!

Whilst I am facing anxiety over this, I believe that I have been put in a very privileged position to change the "wealth creation" industry for good.

I am learning all about how to run a CrowdJustice campaign, and I will be providing a free support service to anyone who wants to follow in my footsteps.

Many people of limited financial means lose money to the "get rich quick in property industry" and they don't know the routes of legal redress or think they cannot afford legal advice to get justice.

Now they can, through this amazing CJ platform.  This is a game-changer for vulnerable people of limited financial means who have been sucked in by promises of easy riches and have lost what money you did have!  You now have a way forwards for legal redress.

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