DSS Tenants – does this video say it all?

DSS Tenants – does this video say it all?

16:11 PM, 19th June 2013, About 11 years ago 110

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I am a landlord specialising in renting to DSS Tenants – ask me anything 🙂


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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Maggie Dale

9:03 AM, 25th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Interesting to read someone else's view on letting to DSS tenants. In the past I have found it makes very little difference letting at the bottom end of the market to DSS or 'private' tenants. You get some excellent people entitled to benefits, and some who are paying their own way who wreck the joint. Even tenants who have been there years with no problems can suddenly turn, stop paying, and cause a lot of expensive damage. No way of telling at the start.

paul johnson

9:19 AM, 25th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi Maggie[very last comment]

Totally agree,thats why I buy property that need refurb and do everything the way I want it, unfurnished, I've never changed laminate or tiles[just steam clean at end of tenancy]Because my kitchens are standard I always have spares,theres no wallpaper to damage and the only carpet is on the stairs.Every property of mine is cleaned and cleared at end of tenancy. The tenant would have to make a serious effort to damage my property and to be honest it very rarely happens, mainly because there's not a lot to damage. Be professional and treat everyone professionally and by and large you'll do ok.

Jonathan Clarke

11:30 AM, 25th June 2013, About 11 years ago

I think many landlords that self manage are control freaks. I know I am. We have our own ideas of how things are done and we know it works for us so that`s what we do. We attract therefore tenants who tend to think like we do. I know perfectly good landlords who don`t think quite like me but their model works well for them. Our tenants may be both sound as a pound but we wouldn't want to interchange them necessarily. Bit like that family swap USA programme. Its can be asking for trouble.

With the DSS market the rents are fixed (assuming no top ups) therefore for every 2 bed I will get exactly £625 as that is what the rate is in my area. My job then is to manage that £625 income as effectively as I can by minimising my outgoings. I may make more profit than another DSS landlords in the same area because I've seen an area where I can reduce my outgoings. However I may make less than another if I miss a trick.

I can do all that within the law and still provide a safe home.

Taste and value for money is very subjective. I found through experience that by putting my tastes to one side and letting my tenants decide I not only make them happier but I also increase my profit margins.

If I insist on my tastes being met as I did in the early days I can sometimes disappoint my tenants and reduce my profit margins. The former is therefore my preferred option.


13:18 PM, 25th June 2013, About 11 years ago

"This video is private."

I've read the entire thread but no matter what I do I cannot get the video to play.

Has something changed or am I doing something stupid?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

19:27 PM, 25th June 2013, About 11 years ago

@Badger - try again now and let me know what happens please, seems to be working fine for me now.


20:47 PM, 25th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Yep - okay now.


Mick Roberts

7:36 AM, 26th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Mark, be good to have an unlike button, 3 unlikes & you’re out ha ha, & then you’d soon have no members left.

PJ, thank goodness that is your last comment ‘cause u was turning in me into a rogue Landlord. And your choice of words are better than mine.
I now understand your lack of understanding on me & Jonathon, just because one does his houses mint, do all have to follow suit? Just as u see my houses & think ‘No, how could they?’, I see your mint ones & think the same ‘No, how could they?’ Because some, not all, but most of my clientele who have no deposits, would have a field day wrecking it.
100% of my tenants don’t have deposit, nor rent up front.
PJ, I’ve understood all along that people have worked differently to me. ALL ALONG. I’ve never disagreed with your way of working, I’ve disagreed that u telling me I shun’t be doing it how I do it.
I have mate landlords that work differently to me, do similar to u. What I can’t understand, is how some are saying I shouldn’t be working how I am working? And just one day, when I’m in me pipe & slippers, I may too do this way with just keeping my better proportion of houses.
I’m glad Jonathon Clarke is on here, as he has a lot better way of putting what I do into shorter clearer to read sentences. How he works appears to be a mirror image of me, or maybe all LHA tenants at lower end of scale, & I don’t mean in their standards, I mean in terms of them having no deposit etc. I thought I was the only one in the UK that dealt in this way, the way peoples draws drop when I tell them I never have to decorate or carpet.

If it makes some of u feel a bit better, I have had a deal with the new video tenants, that they get their house they want in the area they want, they do the work, I then give them half on what they spend on decorating stuff with a receipt of course. So it only costs them half, it’s a win win again in’t it-Ooh dear, here come’s the onslaught from the do-gooders, worse than Facebook this is.

Yes, I too have had people with no problems for 8 years or so, & then wham, something changes, new drugs, new boyfriend, & then house gets wrecked, Landlord & everyone else are b___ards, & soon they become homeless.

My tenants would have to put no effort in, in damaging ANYONE’s property.

Yes PJ, your 1130 time comment, all agree & couldn’t agree more, let tenants decide keeps them happy. How many of u Landlords that have MINT houses don’t let your tenants paint, nor put a picture up? I’m not knocking u for that, does my head in when my newly plastered ceilings & tenants then put drawing pins up for decorations at Xmas. But I get that many tenants come to me to sometimes a decoration dump & stay with me, & leave their previous MINT house, because their previous Landlord wouldn’t let them decorate how they wanted.

You’d have heart attack if you’d have come with me to one of my houses yesterday, I han’t been inside for a year or so, she’s been there about 5 years, last time I saw her, I said Yeh, do what u want. Well, she certainly did that, she’s knocked a wall out, now made a kitchen diner, she’s plastered massive living room, putting in brand new high spec kitchen & bathroom, but the wall gone was big shock-No, it wasn’t load-bearing. But hey, that may only cost me £400 to put back if I do put it back when she’s gone, but because allowing her her to HAVE HER HOME, I do believe she may be there another 10 years, she says she wants to stop forever, but they all say that, don’t they.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:03 AM, 26th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi Mick

You are certainly not alone.

Check out the video in this article >>> http://www.property118.com/landlord-defeats-council/19407/

Robin also wrote a 4 part series, here is part one, the rest are linked >>> http://www.property118.com/spotlight-on-robin-pilley-hmo-investor/

IMPORTANT NOTE - these video's and blogs are dated 2011

Louis Parker

8:23 AM, 26th June 2013, About 11 years ago

I see this debate has rumbled on! my inbox at least half dozen new alerts each time I look.
This has certainly opened up to a lot of views, although I can see the other side I still think it is not good practise to present a property in poor condition (even if it is cosmetic).
To allow tenants to decorate how they want is fine, to let them put up pictures ok, I give my tenants free hand to do this it is usually a sign that they will stay for a while.
I still have regular visits to check on things (the fabric of the property).
But I cant see how any landlord would not visit for a year and then find a wall removed?
It might not be structural but what if it is acting as a fire break and then there was a fire this could be disaster for the tenant and your duty of care to them as the landlord you would be liable.
Try explaining this to the insurers or heaven forbid the judge how you neglected to visit for a year and the tenant just decided to remove a wall!
on another point it don't matter if you are rich or poor or what your background you should be entitled to a descent property to live in.
Yes there are two star and five star houses not a problem but they should be presented in good order.

Vanessa Warwick

8:52 AM, 26th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion.

It has partially inspired my latest post:

12 things to do today to break property investor's "block" and move forwards


To that end, Mick, would you like to go out for lunch one day?! 🙂

We could also record a PT TV interview with you to learn more about your property investing philosophy!!!!

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