Meet The Landlords TV programme – fair representation?

Meet The Landlords TV programme – fair representation?

8:52 AM, 30th July 2013, About 10 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

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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:12 AM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

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

How can anybody respect a landlord who commits illegal eviction on National Television?

I suspect the complaints have been numerous and the pressure on the authorities to close him down will be very intense indeed.

Time will tell.

Vanessa Warwick

8:31 AM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

On that note Mark ..

Geoffrey Irving, an HMO landlord from Wallasey, who follows a similar strategy to HMO Daddy, was fined £3000 for numerous breaches of HMO regulations including mould and damp issues ...

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:07 AM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "03/08/2013 - 08:31":

I suspect that will be a drop in the ocean to what happens in this case. Home Stamp operate in this area and are made up of all authorities. They will no doubt want to demonstrate they have teeth

John Paul

10:07 AM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Only a certain type of Landlord and company are set up to deal with the lower end of the market and we are such a company. Our knowledge procedures and more importantly the staff are of such a standard that is allows us to do so, and effectively, as was shown on the programme.
There certainly no shame in dealing with ASBO tenants or alcoholics and I'm very proud that we help people like this, its part of our social responsibility and commitment to the local area. We do have some that don't want to change and therefore are a lost cause, but the majority do change. We do have a huge success rate in turning people lives around, or at least being a part of it. This is again, down to the staff and the support we give to the tenants as well as teaming up with support workers etc to help in the best way we can.
So whilst some of you wont touch them and "let them be some one else's problem" we welcome them, as we know we can help turn them around.
It actually brings a smile to my face when some people have passed comment whilst sitting in your ivory towers looking down on people less fortunate than yourselves passing judgement , when i know you are hanging on to your portfolios by the skin of your teeth and only have a portfolio due to interest rates being so low. Cant wait for it all to go pop and you have to claim benefit and the shoe is on the other foot.

Jonathan Clarke

15:11 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

I loved this programme.

It delivered a raw honest snapshop of the everyday problems faced by landlords at this end of the market.
From a business and social perspective much of it resonated with my own LHA single lets model.
It can appear chaotic but its systemised chaos.

The loveable guy who Bev took under her wing epitomises this end of the market.
I have my own Bevs who act as support workers. They are worth their weight in gold .
Its an attitude of mind . Tough love

Its a challenge not to let the lure of money outweigh the rights and needs of vulnerable individuals.
There will be saints and sinners who operate in this market place.

Combining a lucrative business model that satisfies a public ( and probably personal ) need simultaneously is a skill and an art.
Hats off to JP and Jim for even entering the lions den in the first place

andrew townshend

17:25 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

very commendable paul, but surly turning peoples lives around should be left to the professionals, not landlords ?

John Paul

18:12 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

We ARE the professionals....who help with the housing aspect of the help. At no point did i ever say or suggest that we were the professional social support to these type of tenants. But help comes in many forms, not just a social or care worker

We also alert various support networks to tenants who we think are struggling and may require further assistance

If we all had the attitude that it had nothing to do we us, it would be a very sad world we live in, very selfish and uncaring

Ive also started a non for profit organisation called North East Supported Housing CIC, where we teach LHA tenants functional skills and IT to best equip them for the onset of UC and also life in general, i suppose this is also wrong and i should leave it to the professionals or these people are too far down the wrong road, so whats the point of even trying eh??

Mick Roberts

18:13 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "andrew townshend" at "03/08/2013 - 17:25":

That's exactly what us LHA Landlords have been saying for years, but as we know, unfortunately when we ask or try to get the tenant to ask, the help ain't there for 'em. I'm trying this week for 2 tenants of mine that's been hit by the benefit cap & Weflare rights han't got a clue, can't get hold of Citizens advice, Homelesss Housing Aid don't even know about the cap yet-yes I know laughable, Shelter-u get through to a call centre, believe it or not, so if I can't get them help & I have the phone budget, what hope have they got on pay as u go or phone boxes?
The Govt get the HB & DWP to brush it off all the time & leave us LHA Landlords as the first port of call for the vulnerable tenant to start getting somewhere.

Jerry Jones

18:23 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Paul" at "03/08/2013 - 10:07":

Well said, John. I house LHA tenants in your area, as you know (Castledene look after my two "problem" properties in a rough part of Middlesbrough) and feel that I am doing some good to society. I wish they all paid me back by being kind to the houses, though!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

19:00 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "03/08/2013 - 18:13":

Surely you can only help those who want to help themselves though John? It came across on TV that ASBO man is a lost cause at this stage. How do you choose how to help? Surely people like the lady with Cancer are more deserving? I appreciate she was in a different area but surely there are deserving people like her in the North East too?

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