Mandy Thomson

Registered with Property118.com
Wednesday 13th November 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 965

Mandy Thomson

2 weeks ago
M&S Food for Shelter

Reply to the comment left by Jamie Moodie at 02/12/2017 - 15:25
I'm certainly not saying they're wonderful - far from it. My point is that IF they're backing down on their anti landlord stance, shouldn't we do the same and see what happens? It would be better to engage in a proper debate with them and have them take on the board the issues from the private landlord's viewpoint rather than be at constant loggerheads.... Read More

Mandy Thomson

2 weeks ago
M&S Food for Shelter

I first saw the support Shelter snacks in M&S at Christmas last year. At the time, I was frankly disgusted and there was no way I was buying those particular snacks, even if they were vegan (it can be a challenge to find vegan ready made food, to say the least, even in 21st C Central London!).
Now, however, although Shelter will have to go much further before I will support it, I believe it is becoming more moderate, insofar as over the last year I have not been aware of so much anti landlord propaganda coming from the organisation.
For example, I came across this page containing results of a survey of private landlords, published on Shelter’s site, in which they actually state, “landlords play a crucial role in providing homes, both now, and in the future”. The article was published in February 2017, a month after Campbell Robb stepped down as CEO….
I also know for a fact that even under Robb, Shelter employed private landlords on its staff!
I believe the argument that Shelter does no real good to alleviate homelessness because it doesn’t actually provide housing is disingenuous. Is this not like saying the NLA, RLA even Property118 do no good as all they’re doing is offering guidance and lobbying Parliament? Enabling someone to help themselves by equipping them with the right knowledge is to empower that individual; didn’t someone once say that if you give a man a fish he can eat for a day, but if you teach him to fish he can eat for a lifetime? Also, a similar argument that states that service providers offer no value because they don’t manufacture anything is used against landlords by anti landlord extremists such as House Price Crash (HPC).
The stance taken by Shelter under Campbell Robb was damaging and divisive; polarising an issue only serves to close down any real and meaningful debate that might actually lead to a solution – look at human history and international conflict as an example. I will not play this game nor be dragged down to the level of HPC.
The NLA’s stance is that deliberately antagonising individuals and organisations achieves nothing, and I believe they are right.... Read More

Mandy Thomson

2 weeks ago
Landlords fund-raising for the homeless

There are several issues with letting to people referred by local authority homeless units. The first is insurance; while many policies allow for tenants on housing benefit, you may need specialist insurance if you take LA referred tenants as they are more likely to lead chaotic lifestyles and pose a bigger risk.
Secondly, I have come across many landlords who have taken such tenants, only to find they need to evict and the LA or other social provider who referred the tenant will help neither landlord nor tenant.
Thirdly, unlike a social landlord, a private landlord does not have the legal right to grant a "challenging" renter a licence instead of a tenancy, and that tenancy will be a full AST, meaning the arrangement can't be easily terminated if it goes wrong.
This is why I believe that private landlords should not take tenants with issues unless they are a large landlord with the resource to cope with the additional challenges, and they know exactly what they are doing.... Read More

Mandy Thomson

2 weeks ago
Landlords fund-raising for the homeless

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 30/11/2017 - 09:21As has been suggested by several posters, I believe the best option (at least short term) is to simply raise funds to pass onto one or more already established homeless charities/shelters (as opposed to THE Shelter... 🙂 )
As has been seen, setting up a project to help homeless people is no small undertaking, and those landlords on here who have the necessary knowledge are likely to have their hands full with their own projects.
Property118 or perhaps another organisation, could make a standing commitment by setting up an account into which supporters make regular monthly payments and/or larger one off payments, and of course Property118 with its excellent SEO platform would be a good base from which to advertise and attract new contributions.

I am more than willing to make monthly contributions to the fund and help with any admin related tasks.... Read More

Mandy Thomson

2 weeks ago
Scottish Private Residential Tenancy Agreement - Begins

I believe the NLA are also up to speed on the new reforms, so Scottish landlords letting from today might also want to consider joining them.

On the whole, I believe the changes are sensible and it brings in much needed reforms - the old Scottish Shorthold Assured Tenancy (equivalent to English and Welsh AST) is unnecessarily complex compared to the English/Welsh system.

However, while private housing cases, including possessions, will be heard in the First Tier Property Tribunal, not the Sheriff's Court as previously, each case will allocated a full half day's hearing.... Fine in theory, but unworkable in practice.

However, Scottish landlords will no longer be able to rely on a no fault eviction notice. There are mandatory grounds that allow for the tenant to take back the property without proving wrongful behaviour on the part of the tenant, namely:
-Landlord intends to sell
-Landlord intends to refurbish
-Landlord intends to live in property

However, if a landlord were to use any of these grounds simply as an excuse to evict the tenant, if the tenant finds out later that the ground wasn't justified, the landlord can prosecuted. So if, for example, a landlord put the property up for sale then pulled out as soon as the tenant was evicted, the tenant need only search at Registers of Scotland for the new owner.

As most experienced landlords know only too well, no fault eviction notices are mostly used to get around a failing court system that has months of backlogs - as I've already stated, from what I've heard I don't believe the new system will address this.

Also, especially given that most private landlords are private individuals of limited means, IMHO completely eradicating no fault eviction is wrong - such an investor is vulnerable and should be able to simply change their mind about the agreement after a reasonable time has elapsed.

The other issue here is mortgage lenders - for this reason, I foresee it being harder to get a BTL mortgage against Scottish property.

The removal of no fault eviction will mean much less choice for Scottish tenants, and many landlords trying to buck the system by offering licences instead of full tenancies; in short, it's going to be like the 1970s again, unless institutional investors replace small landlords.

Scottish landlords with existing letting agreements can be reassured these changes are NOT retrospective - the agreement will remain a SAT with no fault eviction available; however, any renewal WILL be a PRT by default.... Read More