Meet The Landlords TV programme – fair representation?

Meet The Landlords TV programme – fair representation?

8:52 AM, 30th July 2013, About 8 years ago 73

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Last night I finally got around to watching a TV programme I recorded on BBC a few weeks ago called “Meet The Landlords“.

I was asked to appear on the programme when it was first considered but when I told the reporter what managing my portfolio entailed he wasn’t really that interested. Who could blame him? My tenants stay with me for years, I outsource most things and for that reason I doubt I spend more than a couple of hours every week looking after my property portfolio. It makes me enough to live on, my tenants are all very happy and neither me nor my tenants are ever very likely to make good viewing on the Jeremy Kyle show.

The appearances from landlords and tenants featured on “Meet the Landlords” though was a proper rogues gallery. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the programming team had stood out the Jeremy Kyle recording studio’s a picked the worst of the worst people. Perhaps they offered them a free Maccie D’s in return for them and their landlords to make another appearence on the telly? LOL

The programme featured:-

  • Two amateur landlords whose tenants had not been paying rent for months,
  • a landlord calling himself the HMO Daddy who runs what I can only describe as “doss houses” for the dreggs of society,
  • and a woman from a North Eastern letting agency who let a property for a private landlord to rent to a drunken ASBO tenant who couldn’t even be bothered to turn up sober and then broke down into tears when presented with a property which he clearly realised he didn’t deserved to live in

If the BBC wanted to make a documentary revealing broken Britian this was a success. If they wanted to portray the Private Rented Sector then sorry, in my opinion it was a massive #FAIL

If the two amateur landlords had employed a decent letting agent or spent some time reading forums such as this one they wouldn’t have found themselves thousands of pounds down in rent arrears. One of the landlords was quite clearly on the verge of a mental breakdown but the hypocrisy of her story was that whilst her tenants were not paying the rent due to her, she was falling into arrears with her own landlord and prioritising subsidising her own mortgage! No wonder Paul Shamplina for Landlord Action has such a thriving Tenant Eviction business. He was one of the few people on the programme who came across as being decent.

I’ve heard about the HMO Daddy selling coaching and mentoring and I had always wondered why a landlord who claimed to be successful would do that. In my mind, you mentor people either to grow your own business (i.e. employees) or you do it when you’ve made enough money to become truly altruistic and because you thrive on helping other to achieve or solve problems which you’ve previously encountered. Having watched this programme I think I may have worked it out. Perhaps “landlord Jim” needs to sell a blueprint of his “secret recipe”, or a positive spin on what he would really like it to be like, in order to subsidise the appalling behaviour of his appalling tenants living in his appalling properties, all of which were exposed on National TV?

I’ve read some very positive views elsewhere on the web about the lady who worked for the letting agency and dealt with the ASBO tenant. Yes she was grounded, caring and very patient. What I can’t get my head around is how it can possible be in the interests of any landlord to put a drunken lout like that tenant into what seemed to be a relatively decent property. Fair enough, it was explained that the rent was guaranteed to be paid directly by the Council due to this chaps “issues” shall we say but come on! Anybody with half a brain can see this chap was on the road to nowhere but prison. If that house isn’t completely trashed within a year then I will eat my words but I’d happily lay a bet that the damage he causes to the property and the distress he causes to the poor people living in close proximity to him will not come close to the rental income. What man in his right mind would think his wife and children would feel safe living to a sexist drunk like him? The guy believed he was God’s gift to women and obviously has no respect for society or the law either. The chap needed to be institutionalised in my opinion, for his own safety and for others, but I suppose that’s the result of what was badged “Care in the Community”.

The real shocker for me was the prostitute tenant who gave up possession of her property without going to Court in return for a tenner. Yes she signed some papers but it was pretty obvious to me that she did that under duress and whilst under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.

Maybe I’m lucky, perhaps I will be labelled as a snob for writing this review, but the “Meet the Landlords” TV programme was nothing like the Britain I know and love and certainly not representative of what I have witnessed as a result of being a landlord for the last 24 years!

What were your thoughts?Meet The Landlords


by John Paul

21:30 PM, 31st July 2013, About 8 years ago

Just come across this and i can see there are quite a few varying opinions out there already. What is very clear is that as always, peopl only have half the facts and are quick to shoot people down, Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Firstly The ASBO tenant, is not in any arrears, and keeps his house in immaculate condition, BUT no one was bothered about that were they

Secondly hes been in the new property 7 weeks now and is ahead in his rent and no issues at all, as he has the right support BUT no one bothered to ask that did they

Thirdly its MY house we put him in, so i was taking the risk BUT you wouldnt know that would you

Fourthly we got him the help and support from professional services he needed to turn his life around

Fifthly he was a nuisance due to the company he was keeping and since he has moved into a different area, hes been a model tenant

So next time you just to complete conclusions, try and get some clarity on the situation and ask questions.

by DC

21:41 PM, 31st July 2013, About 8 years ago

Mark, I agree with all of your thoughts and comments on this programme. It really showed the bottom end of the market for what it is - a shambles.

Unfortunately, a lot of the problems associated with our industry seem to manifest from the shabby HMO culture that exists in many of our larger towns and cities. I cringe when I hear that perfectly good houses on decent developments are to be turned into HMO's. Eventually, no matter what good intentions the landlord may start off with, neighbours feel forced into selling up to escape the problems these properties cause and slowly the area descends into a mess. It has a knock-on effect and eventually devalues not only the landlord’s property but the whole area. Just look at the areas that many student flats are in. HMO's and crime infested areas go hand in hand.

No, I wouldn't label you as a snob but as a responsible person and landlord, who thankfully reflects the backbone of this countries private rental sector.

by Mark Alexander

22:05 PM, 31st July 2013, About 8 years ago

Hi John

Thanks for the update and let's hope, for your sake and for his new neighbours, that he doesn't "fall off the wagon".

I sincerely hope the guy get's better and that his life continues to improve.

This is one of those cases where I dearly hope you will come back in 12 months time and be able to tell me "hand on heart" that I was wrong, i.e. your solution was better than institutionalising the man.

by Puzzler

8:43 AM, 1st August 2013, About 8 years ago

Dreadful programme ; young woman "never received a penny from her tenant" - so why did she not get at least a deposit and first month's rent? This was not explained. As for the HMO Daddy, why was he not embarrassed to be portrayed so negatively? A modern day Ebenezer Scrooge without the happy ending. A very bad press for the PRS and totally unbalanced. The only good thing is it might make people think carefully before entering the sector.

by Shirley Brumpton

9:42 AM, 1st August 2013, About 8 years ago

I watched the programme and I am a landlord -The HMO Daddy made me feel sick to my stomach - the lack of respect shown by his tenants towards him was generated by his lack of respect for them and it became a viscious circle. I make sure that the standard of my lets is excellent but I still know what it's like to get a bad tenant - I used a lettting agent, vetting procedures etc. My last tenant was a young local business man - very smart in his personal appearace, drove a mercedes, was from well off parents, passed credit checks and vetting procedures - unfortunately he lived like a pig and the place had to be decorated throughout after removal of 22 bags of rubbish, needles, vomit stained duvets, broken furniture etc etc. You can get bad tenants from all social "classes" - it is dangerous to stereotype. Would I let to an alcoholic? - I'm afraid not because the fact is that drink often comes before the rent and I cant afford to take that risk.

by andrew townshend

15:58 PM, 1st August 2013, About 8 years ago

relpy to shirley above, i agree with you 100%. when i first started letting i let to a young man who's farther was a director of a well known garage group here in norwich, this young man lived worse than a pig, i was so pleased to see him go. but in another case i let to a couple who had been living on one of the worst council estates, the man worked in demolition , they proved to be some of the best tenants i have ever had. never judge by appearances, and certainly not by the flash car, most of these are on contract hire, or h.p. in any case.

by Mick Roberts

16:12 PM, 1st August 2013, About 8 years ago

Snob ha ha.
It was a bit like the Britain I know.
Oh here we go again, please don't attack me everyone, I've just got back off hol & am snowballed under-And still not done Mark's membership thing.
Was gonna' reply to Vanessa when she asked me if I watched it, but you're on here now, so yes watched it.
U can treat people with respect & yes should get it back, but sometimes they don't ruddy respect u or the property back.
I'm not gonna' defend Jim here, but did any of us see his properties BEFORE the tenant moved in. I know, 'cause I got slated on here for showing an 'after' video, without any Landlords knowing what I'd gave it the tenant like 3 years previously.
And I would give the lady with Cancer a house tomorrow with no deposit, nor rent up front.
I do think some got away lightly with how their houses were left. If some of mine were left like that, I'd jump for joy. A few holes in ceilings-Wow, that's birthday time.
Ha ha & now we get the truth on the ASBO man. Yes u clever Landlords, please understand you're sometimes commenting on only seeing half the story. But yes, it is early days for him, but who knows, could really look after that nice place.

by Anon

1:28 AM, 2nd August 2013, About 8 years ago

I am a fan of HMO daddy. He is a landlord, I respect him as an educator. He is one of the few landlords, who is above that is heads and above the rest in imparting with knowledge. I picked up his training manual, which truly gold. He suggest putting HMOs near busy roads, or on edge of town so it does not cause nuisance... etc... lots of good advice. Being an HMO landlord is not for me, as I did n't want to deal with the tenants we saw on TV....

Someone asked, why would a landlord have training course. I think this is because he was a college professor. So he must want to teach!.

I am on HMO Daddy's marketing mailing list and and this is the email I received about the TV programme.


Jim Haliburton - HMO Daddy here.

I recently appeared in BBC1's ‘Meet the Landlords' the Landlords/

which was viewed by 3.4 million viewers, this is high number of viewers for 10:30pm at night for BBC1.

I was surprised that I received so many positive comments (and several hundred new subscriptions to this mailing list) and only one negative one.

It was certainly fun to do though I had no say in the final product:, and would just like to bring to your attention a few items:-
I did not feel it really represented very well what I do, as it showed only my problem tenants which thankfully there are very, very few - less than 1% and did not show the appreciative, good ones.
Nor did it make it clear that I house a large number of working/professional tenants.
It did not make it clear that I have never evicted a tenant who could not pay the rent, only those who wilfully refused to pay the rent and are usually causing problems.
It also failed to show what the properties are like before the tenant moved in - here are a couple of pictures of one of our best properties, a Gothic gatehouse converted into studios, this may be an extreme example, but its a look we try to aim for for our cheaper studios.

The programme only showed how bad the properties were left after the tenants departed, with the inference that it is always the landlord's fault that the property is in such an awful state. They did not ask why a tenant chooses the property if the prospective tenant did not like it!

Nor was it mentioned that we deal with 90% of tenant requests for repairs within 48 hours of reporting the problem, and employ a team of 6 trademen full-time to deal with repairs.

The benefit for us landlords, from the feedback, is that it has put people off being a landlord! It benefited the landlord up north, Castledean, because he was shown in a positive light with a nice clean property and it has resulted in a lot of extra demand for him. I am sure that Castledean have the very same or even worse tenants and problems than I have.

Please feel free to call or email me to discuss any questions you may have about the programme or the range of courses l run to ease your way in owning and managing HMO Properties.


Jim Haliburton


by Richard Watters

17:16 PM, 2nd August 2013, About 8 years ago

As a Landlord with a large portfolio in the N. East I can speak from experience. I'm a responsible landlord and that responsibility extends to myself to get the best possible tenants. There's no way I'd take the ASBO/drunk, I'd let him be somebody else's problem (and he will be a problem, leopards, spots and all that).

About 60% of my tenants used to be HB claimants. With HB cuts to 30th percentile, general benefit cuts, imminent introduction of Universal Benefit, and increasingly disaffected "benefit lifestylers" I now have a policy of no. H.B. If this means reducing the rent, so be it. The hassle, Admin and ultimately, cost doesn't make it worthwhile.

by Mick Roberts

7:31 AM, 3rd August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anon " at "02/08/2013 - 01:28":

There u go people, two sides to every story.

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