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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Jonathan Clarke

19:17 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

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

Looking after the vulnerable of our society requires a multi agency approach.
Social workers, mental health workers, housing officers, landlords, voluntary bodies, police, education officers to name a selection. They all play a vital and professional role in society

No one service alone can hope to problem solve it all on their own. Some workers have a skill set which sometimes covers two or more disciplines. In the film Bev demonstrated this ability admirably.

I have people who work for me who have a professional background in social care. They combine the skills of their previous profession with the skills required to manage vulnerable LHA tenants. Professionals through and through.

I have one who person who is a multi skilled professional. She has a background in psychiatric nursing, was a door supervisor ( bouncer) and is a registered electrician and she can plaster and plumb as well. She collects my debts does my maintenance , assists with the HB forms and will attend a tenants social workers case conference as well if required.
How cool is that. And NO - everyone else keep their mitts off . She works for me!!!!

John Paul

19:20 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

There are more deserving people out there than the ASBO tenant as you keep calling him, his name is Paul by the way. However, there were non that came forward wanting that house at that time, so i gave MY house to Paul.

How do we choose who to help? We assess every situation and give it to the person we feel will be the best tenant for that property, always with the LL permission after disclosing what we know about the tenant. With some of the houses we have we might not have many or even any people living in a certain area. Although we manage a lot of LHA property we have well over a thousand very good properties that would not be suitable for Paul.

Yes the lady with cancer is more deserving but shes not in my area, but i would give her a property tomorrow if i could

Paul wants to be helped, as I've posted on here and tribes, he's been in 7 weeks, and not made a single nuisance call, kept his house clean and is actually in credit with his rent. So to me that says, not only does he want to be helped but more importantly he wants to help himself and is by no means a lost cause

So based on the above do you think we've made the right choice or should we have thrown him out on the street? or institutionalised him, which costs 5 x as much as it does to house him?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

20:21 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Paul" at "03/08/2013 - 19:20":

Only time will tell John, sincerely mate, I hope it does work out. I stand by what I said though. Lets hope you get lucky

20:58 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Well I take my hat off to ANY LL who is prepared to deal with the dregs of society.
I have a low opinion of these types and wouldn't be concerned if they all fell off a cliff tomorrow; they would be no loss to this country!
However that is not how our society works; we are supposedly civilised and therefore assistance is given to everybody!
Therefore LL and LA who are prepared to deal with these types; I say good luck to them.
They clearly have to put more effort into this situation that most LL including me could be bothered with.
Such LL who have recognised that such tenants; who I would determine are the mucky end of the spectrum of tenant types, have clearly identified the brass!!
LL cannot be too precious about who they choose to let to.
Certainly to disparage any LL that makes a different choice to you is inappropriate.
The likes of JP etc have been and are successful in what they do.
They are needed because there is no way I would wish to be involved with what they do!!
That is my choice; what they do is not of lesser value than what I do; we all have to determine our own methods of doing business.
Thank god there are people like JP who are competent and willing to deal with these tenant types.
They aren't for me though.
That does NOT make me a better LL than JP because we have different tenant types!!
If there were more LL like JP then perhaps the LL class would receive better PR.
The likes of HMO Daddy unfortunately reinforce the public's perception of LL; which is NOT a good one!!
I think perhaps a better representation of the lower end of the market would be for TV crews to spend about a month with JP; during which time they would obtain an accurate reflection of how LL and L and tenants behave in the lower end of the market.
Effectively what we have seen are just visual versions of 'soundbites'; which clearly cannot give any real true representation of what actually goes on.
That is just a product of the limiting perspective that media has!
So I say good luck to ALL you brave souls willing to deal with the bottom end of the market.
And JP yes I am one of those LL that will be bankrupted when IR increase; so I've asked Mum to keep a spare room available in the eventuality!!!!
Unfortunately I am one of those that has a pension that means I would be worse off than a single male over 35 who didn't work hard all their life for a pension.
So I shall be the screwing the system for as much as I can before I am bankrupted.
I think I have a few years yet!!!

John Paul

21:09 PM, 3rd August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Barrett" at "03/08/2013 - 20:58":

They followed us for 10 weeks up to 8 hours a day. With over 1850 properties we only has 3 tenants who were of any interest to blast films, and only Paul was deemed interesting enough to be featured in the programme.

I actually take it as a compliment that they couldnt find any more footage, and is a feather in the cap of the staff who can deal with smilar situations efficiently and effectively and cut them off at the pass so to speak

Dont worry about living with mum Paul, i know ASBO Paul is looking for a lodger 😉

Mick Roberts

8:40 AM, 4th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/08/2013 - 19:00":

Yes, do agree, but not all are lost cause. I would say from my own personal experience, I probably turn around maybe 20% of people, whereas if any other Landlord, maybe 90% on here would have just kicked them out & they'd be homeless for possibly forever, but some believe it or not, can change. Not all ha ha & it's ruddy hard work. I've got gal this week that just cannot understand that her £70 a week on fags, that is far more important than paying the rent.
Some go for 20-30 years swapping house very year cheesing off EVERY Landlord in the area till there's no more she can go back to.

And yeah, I'd help lady with cancer first, but if I could, I'd try to help the other guy too. He still need somewhere to live. I've been homeless meself, been on benefits 5 years from 92-97, I used to mow the garden at 3am & cheese the neighbours off, hid from the milkman who I owed £100's to, I've always been clever, but I was also a lost cause according to some. I've changed. not everyone can, but we can try. I wish everyone was the same 'cause I'd then be having the rents paid in the bank on the first of every month & once a month I'd be on the beach in Spain, or skiing in winter months, or in Russia tracking the gorgeous chicks down. But not everyone is the same & we just have to work with them.

Ha ha & u make me laugh Paul, u say it how it is. And me too, don't get me wrong, I'd love to be just having the nice houses & nice tenants & do less hours, & then maybe I could try & help the homeless on a voluntary basis, not because we have to help them to get the rent & mortgage paid as well as to avoid them being homeless. But as it is, it does feel good when u swallow pride, & avoid someone being homeless by just getting them to follow a few simple rules.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:00 AM, 4th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "04/08/2013 - 08:40":

That's unite a story Mick, I thought I'd had a tough start!

How did you raise the money to buy your first property and how do you make the figures stack up if only 20% of your tenants turn out good?

Shirley Brumpton

10:13 AM, 4th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Barrett" at "03/08/2013 - 20:58":

Someone once told me that good television MUST involve conflict - Landlords and tenants getting along fine, both happy does not make good TV. The media, therefore , get better viewing figures when HMO Daddy and his tenants are at opposite ends of the scale. HMO Daddy thought more about his dog than he did of his tenants and there was certainly plenty of conflict for the media to feed off!

HB Welcome

11:07 AM, 4th August 2013, About 10 years ago

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

I was with you all the way, right up until you said this;

"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"

How many of your landlord clients would also go pop?
Who will house your tenant clients if they do?
Be careful of what you wish for.

John Paul

11:39 AM, 4th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "HB Welcome" at "04/08/2013 - 11:07":

I was and still am referring to the selfish and uncaring people who look down on others without knowing the full facts.

We also do portfolio reviews and stress test most of out LL portfolios fee of charge so a huge amount less than you think

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