DSS Tenants – does this video say it all?


Mick Roberts - Published on 19/06/2013
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I am a landlord specialising in renting to DSS Tenants – ask me anything :)

Update

You may remember the video’s I shared with you back in June and November? Well this is what the place I video’d in November looks like now, just three weeks later …

My original video’s from June and November are below.

Some people think I’m must be crazy to accept benefits tenants. Well maybe I am but it works for me and I have dozens of very happy tenants and a waiting list as long as your arm for my properties. I have no voids and never need to advertise. In short, this video does not tell the full story but I am happy to to tell you mine if you care to ask :)

Looking forward to reading and responding to your comments.

DSS Tenants - This video says it all

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Comments

  • Hi Mick. Why did you post this if you’re not trying to put anyone off from renting to LHA tenants? Jeez, that house looked like hell! I don’t suppose this happens often, but I assume it’s going to cost you a bit to put right?

    Do you ever just “hand over” your house to the local authorities, so that they deal with all the tenant issues?

    Thank you.


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  • generally it is not the housing benefit tenant thats the problem, its the council staff that cause the problems.


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  • I have not met Mick but I have known him for over a year now and we often talk on the phone and we are also Facebook friends. I am delighted that he’s shared an insight into his world.

    Yes, this video makes me very uncomfortable too, as would many of Mick’s tenants.

    However, I do have a lot of admiration for the guy and the way he deals with the problems.

    I’m really hoping that he will be along soon to explain how he deals with these types of problems. I know he has a very large property portfolio and this isn’t an isolated case as I watched many of his other Tenants from Hell video’s on YouTube. Obviously it’s a numbers game, as it is for us all to a certain extent, but it’s how Mick gets these problems resolved which I find so incredibly interesting.

    When Mick does eventually make an appearance, do ask him questions, as you might well learn some new things.

    He’s not managed to persuade me to get into the same market as him yet but I do now have a far better understanding of how it works.


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  • I deal in the DSS ( LHA ) market and over the years I`ve seen a handful of properties similar to these. Its not just the DSS market though which is capable of acting in such a manner. Its an attitude of mind. How their parents brought them up. Think rock stars wrecking hotel rooms. Some people would not dream of doing this some people just don`t care.

    Having a job or not having a job is not necessarily the deciding factor. The interview is key to try and pick up on this potential type of behaviour but its not always possible of course. People are good at masking their true identity

    But yes its a numbers game and not every tenant DSS or non DSS leaves a property like this. BUT you look deeper into this and its easier to understand why the commentary is tongue in cheek. Despite this once in a while Mick will no doubt still make shed loads of cash out of his business model and Good Luck to him

    Pay someone £250 to house clear the superficial stuff out and all you are left with is a typical mucky interior which needs sorting. Add up the cost of the gear left behind and that will equal that £250 if sold on e bay possibly more so there`s even a profit here as I see it

    Then look at the state of the house before they moved in. Often I don`t have to spend on new carpets ( £1500 ) because the 1970 floral ones will do them for now. I dont have to spend on redec ( £1000 ) because they dont expect fine lines and will often do this themselves at no cost to you. So thats 2.5K saved for starters. They`ve been there for say 3 years and the property has cash flowed £400 pcm in that time so that`s almost 15K in rental profits you`ve made out of the LHA system

    The new incoming tenants will not mind the state of the house. I would show someone around that the very next day and they would take that house and do all the rubbish clearance themselves for some cash or a reduction of the deposit maybe. The DSS market demand is so big. Even if it did cost me 3K to fix this I`m still 12K up on the deal in that 3 years

    And that`s just one property. Imagine you had 20 of those. Lets say 3 out of those 20 ended up like that in a 3yr period. Thats 17 x 15K + 3 x 12K = 291K gross profit per 3 years = £8083 gross pcm. For getting on for 100K passive income per year + maybe the same again with some modest capital growth the figures start to get very juicy…………….

    No wonder Mick is still smiling as am I .
    Where there`s is muck there`s is brass. :-)


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  • @Jonathan Clarke – I don’t know where Mick is, perhaps he’s gone shy on me? I doubt that though based on his profile pic in his Speedo’s LOL.

    Oh well, I will steal a small piece of his thunder and tell you what happened next on this property. I’m sure he will not mind as it’s on his Facebook page which is linked in his member profile anyway. His tenants and prospective tenants are also his Facebook friends.

    Mick has a very long waiting list of people who want one of his houses. This is because so many landlords say no DSS in their adverts. Due to this list, Mick doesn’t need to advertise in the conventional sense.

    When a property comes vacant he puts it on his Facebook page and sends a text to all of his tenants and all the people on his list. Word soon spreads and he gets lots of replies.

    That’s exactly what happened in this case. A prospective tenant saw his dilemma and immediately contacted Mick to say “I’ll take the property as it is”. The tenant is now in the process of sorting out all of the mess at no charge. I think Mick may have done a deal to say the new tenant didn’t have to pay a deposit on that basis. I can’t be sure of that in this instance but I know that’s what he’s done in the past.

    I know from past discussions that you do similar thing in terms of letting to benefits claimants Jonathan and I find your business model fascinating. As a matter of interest, do you buy the worst house on the best street or the best house on the worst street?

    Do you have any similar stories to Mick’s which you could share with us all?

    How do you find your tenants and how do you decide which ones to rent your property to?


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  • I’ve got a lot worse than this on http://www.youtube.com/mickroberts2006 I let people see these as in insight to what some Landlords have to put up with & to what dis-respect some HB tenants have to their own home, the house & the Landlord-And also to life in general & their kids.
    I sometimes get 4 a year, then sometimes only one a year. I’m quite grateful this year, that’s the first time in a year for me.
    Some may shudder, but to me it’s a numbers game. We all different, some Landlords check every month, do this, do that, moan at tenants, fall out etc. I tend to leave ‘em alone, just like their in a Council house, they like the privacy they get from me & tend to stay longer. My longest is 15 years & counting. I’ve had a gal in one house, smashed all the internal doors in the first week, my mate said chuck her out-What then? I’ve got to fix the doors-11 years+ later & she’s still there.

    For example that house above, they was with me previous for about 2 years in this house http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYJPAKSSfYk In fact, u can see big lad in the garden on the right. They took this first house as it was, stopped 2 years, no problem.
    They then moved to the house (video above) & stopped for 3 years, didn’t ask for a bean. So in 5 years, maintenance has been virtually nil, & now they’ve done a bunk. We never fell out, I just knew they had a few issues between theirselves, owed other people money, house was getting on top of them, I know gas & elec meters are heavily in debt, so they just thought, got to get out of here. I used to help these tenants quite a lot by helping them manage their finances etc., but I can’t be everywhere at same time, & this is where more support from Council Depts. would help-And Universal Credit is going to make it much worse for them & us.
    Doesn’t work for everyone & if u had a few of these in your first few months, u would probably pack up, but on a law of averages, it works for me.

    So 5 years later, yes not nice-My first house that this happened approx year 2000, I nearly had heart attack & thought if this carries on, I could be gone soon, so I now take different approach-they’ve gone. One of my existing tenants been with me about 2 years in a flat, had baby approx few months ago, now want house-Most my tenants move with me, upgrade, downgrade-I’ve had 2 this week been with me 10 years, kids grown up, leaving etc-They’ve had two downgrades-And I’m still thinking 10 years into the future of bungalows for them when they they are ready-so my existing flat tenants wanted the video house above, if I give it them ‘cause they know how many people want my houses purely because ‘I leave people alone’, I don’t chuck ‘em out as long as I get the rent & I do the maintenance, and dozens of people waiting for my houses-they say my houses are like gold-dust. And if I give it them, they are offering to move all rubbish, clean it up, pay for rubbish removal & take house as is. It’s a win for them as they get something as the ruddy Council han’t got ‘ote, & it makes things easier for me, I han’t got to project manage, nor pay for labour & skips & rubbish removal etc. And they know how many people are waiting for my houses, so they are grateful for getting this one. Quite often it’s awkward, when I give someone house, only for their mates etc. to find out saying ‘Mick, I’ve been asking u ages for house’-But I can’t help everyone although I would like to.
    So no, not costing me a bean.
    I han’t thought of giving houses to councils yet, as I don’t think rents would be enough.

    My mate’s got a few houses, he tried it my way for a few years, liked it to start with, but didn’t like some of the problems that eventually came with HB tenants, so he’s now back to Letting Agents working tenants references etc.-It’s not for everyone.

    Yes, the interview, 1st 5 mins normally tells us & normally I get it right. I did get it right with these, 5 years & good people, & no damage really either, just rubbish. Yes, & I think new tenant is going to make a few quid of of stuff left, so he may actually be up.
    Wow, Jonathon Clarke, prob about the only person who has similar to me in terms of not having to decorate or carpet. Other Landlords find it unbelievable that we don’t have to and every year they have carpets & decoration bill. But I suppose they may have more free time than us, who knows.
    Now don’t laugh, I prefer HB tenants as I find working tenants too posh.
    Within 5 seconds of this video going on Facebook, my existing tenants were ringing me, 10mins later, they got key, 20mins later, they were ringing saying don’t offer it anyone else, we’re having it.
    Next morning, I’d got one of my existing tenants for their flat, & then I had 5 ruddy houses moving-So in that sense I did have a lot of work, but two of them been with me 10 years, & if I give them this week the houses they want & need, I could end up keeping them another 5-10 years-So a bit of temporary hassle for long term gain-Gratification Postponement.

    And it’s not just DDS market so big, it’s the fact there’s no ruddy council houses for ‘em & it’s getting worse every year.


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  • Ha ha, no I han’t gone shy on u, must have been putting my comment on as u did yours.
    No, I have this sort of rule, I refuse to go on computer before 8am & after 5pm, I associate computer with work, so if I see computer out of hours, I get stressed out, even tell missus at night, don’t want to see any computers in living room or phones lit up while we’re watching film etc. Like to totally switch off, I even refuse to have emails & Facebook on me phone, otherwise I used to find I was brushing me teeth, getting in bed, see phone flashing, just reply to that person on Facebook & before u know it, you’ve got to bed an hour later than u wanted. So 8-5 Mon-Fri is my computer dedication time.
    As Mark says, stopped buying, started living ha ha, I’ll claim that saying.

    I’ll buy a bargain house on a sensible street-Quite often it is the worst house to start with though. And judging by that video, the worst at the end ha ha. No, Next doors has moved out as well & her is as bad & hers is still empty while she gets builders quotes etc.

    I’ve got tons of stories to tell & If I get time one day, I will tell, but got to prioritise me skiing holidays first & the missus’s Sun holidays first, then me bike rides to Skegness, once they done & all paperwork & office cleared, u can have my time.

    It’s a tough case on me deciding who has what, but quite often, numbers money income has to come into it & either those that can bring sensible rent in, or those that can be the most reliable at paying have to choose.
    For example & I’ve had this discussion with Senior HB members & MP’s & Communities & local Govt-One of the reasons why 5 bed HB rate got scrapped. I had 2 bed house, woman with one kid & woman with 6 kids. 2008 woman one kid got about £110pw HB. Woman 6 kids got £209HB-Who do I choose? MP says can’t put 6 kids in 2 bed house, that’s wrong. I say they’re both homeless, so who’s more desperate, it’s wrong that she’s homeless, what do I do? Leave 6 kids homeless or 1? So as hard as it & wrong as it is, I put 6 kids in 2 bed house & about year later, moved her to 3 bed house. Wrong at the outset, but I got her off the streets where the Council wasn’t.


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  • This is absolutely fascinating stuff, I’m going to promote this discussion in our newsletter next week.

    In the meantime I have another question for you both (Mick and Jonathan that is).

    Do you find it hard to get landlords insurance, i.e. buildings and landlords liability cover?


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  • if you allow tenants to dispose of the rubbish, how do you know it wont be dumped round the corner?


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  • Mark

    I use Acorn Brokers for all my freehold properties. They did use Towergate but have just changed over to NIG. Its less than £1 per £1000 of cover I believe

    Joe.

    I cant prevent them dumping it but I`m their landlord not their keeper. Some councils pick stuff up for free. But if they want to transgress the law of their land then I`m afraid they will have to answer to the appropriate authorities like any other citizen


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