Tag Archives: bankruptcy

Personal Feelings Aside: Good Business or Good Samaritan? Guest Articles, Latest Articles

When you have a business of putting people in homes, it may be quite easy to get wrapped up into doing what’s “right” as opposed to what’s “profitable.” Many of us want to help our fellow humankind keep off of the streets, but when does it become problematic to do so? We may feel like we are in a position that can help those in dire straits, but does the bank account agree with that assessment? Good Business or Good Samaritan

Keep Mindful of the Business

Many landlords can be seemingly heartless when it comes to the misfortunes of others. They seem to be comfortable with throwing families out on the street. However, is this a justifiable way to view someone who is simply looking out for their business? After all, doesn’t a landlord have the right to eat and sleep under his or her own roof? Being a good Samaritan can have a deeply negative impact on the lifestyle of the landlords themselves.

Provide Customer Service

Having good business sense doesn’t mean you should turn your back on humanity, however. Word of mouth and customer service play hand-in-hand for future success regardless of what your business pertains too. This doesn’t mean you should let every person who has a difficult time scraping together the rent take advantage of your hospitality. There has to be a middle area where business and being human coalesce.

Screen Every Candidate

Depending on the area your properties are in, you could hear sad stories from nearly every person walking into your doors about previous housing experiences. While many of them may be justified in having a harsh time, such as layoffs or debilitating injuries, many more still are looking for someone who isn’t going to give them a hard time once per month. Performing a background check on every potential candidate can help you see what kind of a past history the person has had in terms of paying rents on time. If he or she has had a long history of multiple housing due to a lack of payment, you can almost assure yourself that you may have the same experience with them.

Sustain Your Business

If you are able to sustain a loss from a potential candidate, then the risk may be worth your own peace of mind knowing you did what’s right by society. However, you need to make sure that your own needs are met as well. If you put yourself into bankruptcy in order to help others, then you will no longer be in a position to help additional people. In today’s world, being a goodSamaritan can only get you so far. Banks and debt collectors may not care that you are helping your fellow humankind keep off of the streets. These organizations are going to want the money without excuses. If you are affected by turning people away because they are unable to help you keep your business afloat and make sure you’re not in the same position they are, then you may want to look for a new profession.

You can be a good Samaritan and practice good business as long as you’re able to sustain yourself. It’s a fragile balance that could weigh heavily in one direction or another. There is nothing wrong with helping those in need, but it needs to be a method that the business can absorb. Your business is a separate entity that needs to survive in order to help you and your staff survive. Just because you turn someone away with a terrible decade long history of non-payment to a landlord, doesn’t mean you are any less of a person.

Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues Tenancy Deposit Protection Court of Appeal Latest Articles

Superstike vs Rodrigues Tenancy Deposit Protection Court of AppealMy reading of a recent Court of Appeal ruling (Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues) is that thousands of possession orders may have been granted in error due to lack of clarity in Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation.

What’s worse is that the vast majority of landlords may have inadvertently broken the law and face bankruptcy!

Scary stuff hey?!

So what is it all about? Continue reading Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues Tenancy Deposit Protection Court of Appeal

Some good News for Landlords in Scotland at last Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property News

Good News for Landlords in Scotland at last

I keep in touch with what’s going on in the lives of my fellow landlords North of the border via my friends at the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and via listening to members of the Association, many of whom joined SAL on my recommendation.

Members of SAL tell me landlords in Scotland are feeling the pinch of all the new regulations. Letting Agents fees are rocketing to offset the premiums they used to charge to tenants and many of the online portals have pulled out of working with Scottish landlords altogether.

Just because I don’t own any properties myself in Scotland doesn’t prevent me from keeping an eye on the market to look out for solutions though, my ancesters are Scots so I know that every penny counts.

The new regulations might be a pain in the neck for some (OK most!) but as they say, as one door closes another one opens.

I’ve been discussing the challenges with several of my contacts and one of them, an online letting agent (member of the Scottish Association of Landlords and ARLA), has decided to buck the trend and create a brand new product for Scottish landlords whilst their competitors are exiting the market in droves.

This is an overview of their product and I would be very interested in your feedback, especially if you own and let properties in Scotland.

Scottish Landlords Letting and Rent Guarantee Package

  • Advertising of your property on all the major property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location etc)
  • Tenant referencing
  • Dealing with Deposit Protection
  • Rent collection
  • Legal Expense Insurance Cover and Rent Guaranteed for 12 months up to £2,500 pcm and £25,000 in total (with an option to renew each year)
  • Eviction Proceeding costs covered

What’s more, you remain in control. You do the viewing so you get to look your prospective tenants in the eye and decide whether you want them living in your property. This also helps keeps costs down 🙂

The outcome of a tenancy is set at the beginning I think you will agree? However, on top of the increased regulation in Scotland and the associated costs being passed onto landlords, rent arrears, which are every landlords worst nightmare, are increasing too.

One bad tenant can leave you unable to pay your mortgage with prospects of losing your property and possibly bankruptcy. Worse still the court system can take well over 6 months to achieve eviction!

Add to that extortionate lawyers fees and damage to the property, is it any wonder that rent arrears and rising costs of compliance are the biggest fear amongst Scottish landlords?

The rent arrears situation is getting worse.

Arrears are increasing, courts are closing and the process of re-gaining possession of your property is taking longer and longer…

Is it any wonder that “professional rent dodgers” are having a field day?

Things are now about to change for the better for Scottish Landlords though 🙂

The rent guarantee insurers are happy to partner with the agent offering the above scheme due to their unparalleled tenant find and vetting procedure which provides for low risk letting.  

The bottom line is that if the tenant does not pay – you still get paid, and you still save money :-)

Given that 10% of tenants are in arrears amounting to thousands of pounds, and you get rent protection and legal cover, you’d expect a hefty premium wouldn’t you?

Not so – because of this letting agents bulk buying power already established in England and Wales, all of the above can be offered for a full year for just £247 + VAT. Compare that to the fees that your letting agent charges!

It get’s better though!

The deal even comes with a Money Back Guarantee!

If your property is not “Let Agreed” within 30 days you can cancel your instructions and have a full refund.

It’s a meaningful guarantee too, not from some two bob business operating from a bedroom, these agents are qualified members of ARLA and are also members of the Scottish Association of Landlords.

So, why take the risk with your property when you can use this service and get complete peace of mind at such an incredible price?

To find out more please complete the form below.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

How private landlords can beat the rent arrears problem Advice, Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

How to beat rent arrearsRent arrears are every landlords worst nightmare.

One bad tenant can leave you unable to pay your mortgage with prospects of losing your property and possibly bankruptcy. Worse still the court system can take well over 6 months to achieve eviction! Continue reading How private landlords can beat the rent arrears problem

So you think you know what really caused the Credit Crunch? Financial Advice, Guest Columns, Property Investment Strategies

Well think again, but before I tell you what really caused the credit crunch, I must first explain why I wrote this article.

Recently after reading several books on property investment, each offering up their own reasons for what caused the credit crunch/ property crash it was clear that the real reason was being missed. Contributing factors just like a runny nose and a sore throat are just symptoms of a cold; they are not the actual cause. Continue reading So you think you know what really caused the Credit Crunch?

The Property Boom of 2012 landlord's log

Landlord’s Log, the Personal Blog Of Mark Alexander, the Founder of Property118

** I was so shocked when I received this commentary last weekend that it has taken me until now to decide to post it. The following was sent to me as an email by a person who prefers to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. The commenter has not responded to my numerous emails. Is this a joke? I have decided to share it with you because; frankly I was flabbergasted and wanted to see what you have to say. I’ve decided to give this poster a name and a picture and in a strange sort of way I hope he will be back to entertain us all again with his responses to your comments. The name I’ve given to him (at least I think it’s a him) is “The Banker”. The following is what he had to say …

The Banker

I knew that title would catch your attention.

One mans misfortune is another mans opportunity, mine!

You and your highly leveraged buy to let pals are all like lemmings heading towards a cliff, oblivious of your fate.

Well here I am, to warn you of your fate.

I’m not the only one hoping that the next boom will in fact be an implosion in terms property values, you call it a property crash, it will be the making of the likes of me. The chaps on that House Price Crash forum are doing me a big favour by talking up the next crash. Continue reading The Property Boom of 2012

How to Reference Tenants Latest Articles

Ideally landlords want a long-term tenant who treats the property as if it is their own, and this is where it is beneficial to use letting agents , that are experienced in finding good tenants ( in Nottingham in my case) and who can carry out the relevant checks for you. If you want to do it yourself, then the key to success lies in taking your time to carry out thorough checks, and resisting the temptation to cut corners. Continue reading How to Reference Tenants

Is Rent to Buy Just Another Dodgy Lease Option Scheme? Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies

Glen Ackroyd photoI listened to a programme on Radio 5 Live a few days ago that investigated how “Property Investor and Guru” Phil Martin had left a couple close to bankruptcy after agreeing a lease option on their property.

In a nutshell he agreed to take an option to buy the property at a future date and pay their mortgage until he bought it. Not only did he fail to make the mortgage payments but he rented the property to a tenant who didn’t pay the rent and can only be evicted through the usual slow legal process!

People sometimes ask me if our Rent to Buy scheme is a “lease option deal” under a different name. Continue reading Is Rent to Buy Just Another Dodgy Lease Option Scheme?

Council Bids to Bankrupt Landlord Over £25,000 Tax Claim Cautionary Tales, HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

Roll of money

"Landlord supposedly owes council £25,000"

A council is making a bid to bankrupt a landlord who is alleged to owe almost £25,000 in council tax.

Croydon Council in South East London has made a rare move for a local authority to take over a bankruptcy petition against the landlord started by a business partner.

The landlord, Mahendra Shah, of Upper Norwood, London, has a number of convictions relating to poor management of investment property.

A former business associate claimed he owed him £100,000 to stop bankruptcy action going ahead – but the council took over the proceedings when Shah settled the claim by paying part of the cash.

The council has made the application to Croydon County Court after alleging several failed attempts were made to recover the unpaid council tax by executing a warrant to seize goods by distraint to sell to pay the bill.

Shah has told a local paper: “I don’t owe anyone any money. The council has the wrong information.

“They’ve made a mistake. I do not owe them – it’s the tenants which owe the money.

“I am a landlord, I let the properties. If the tenants owe the money it’s their problem, not mine.”

Meanwhile, another landlord has been banned from entering council buildings after claims he had intimidated staff.

Steve Bradbury, 60, has made numerous complaints to Kirklees Council, Huddersfield, for failing to empty his bins and for making slow planning decisions.

The authority offered him £250 and an apology – which he refused – and two chief executives have tried but failed to resolve his complaints.

The ban will be reviewed in six months.

A council spokesman said: “This situation has gone on for many years, and Mr Bradbury’s approach has exacerbated the situation. In the past the council has apologised to Mr Bradbury.

“In ultimately having to take the decision to ban him from council buildings – to allow council officers to do their jobs without spending excessive amounts of time dealing with Mr Bradbury’s regular representations on matters that have previously been considered – we have stressed he has the opportunity to take his complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman, something he has consistently refused to do.”

What to do if your letting agent goes bust Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

What to do if your letting agent goes bustLandlords are regularly falling victim to rogue letting agents who suddenly shut up shop and take their money and run.

The two most common scenarios are a letting agent facing business difficulties closing down with money owing to landlords and tenants or some who are plain thieves milking their business bank accounts for as much as they can before they are caught. Continue reading What to do if your letting agent goes bust

18 months in jail for bankrupt property developer Latest Articles, Property Investment News

A wooden Gavel

A property investor has been jailed for failing to declare funds


A property developer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after failing to declare £143,000 he removed from his estate. 

Giles Nicholas Gilbey had received the money from his share of the sale of his family home. He could not satisfactorily show where the money had gone, despite knowing it should have gone to his creditors. Continue reading 18 months in jail for bankrupt property developer

UK interest rates may not rise for years, says BoE governor Latest Articles

The Bank of England interest rate may hover around 0.5% for at least another two years because of a weak economy and overwhelming personal debt.

Bank governor Mervyn King has hit out at interest rise hawks speculating that rates must soon go up in a speech to a finance committee at the European Parliament. Continue reading UK interest rates may not rise for years, says BoE governor

The origins of the phrase Bulls and Bears – heated debate Latest Articles

This week I’ve been involved in a group debate with three people who hide their identity on a popular property investors forum. 

The people on the opposite side of the debate consider me to be a property Bull and themselves to be Bears.  They do not invest into property.  One went under the handle “Wisebear”. Continue reading The origins of the phrase Bulls and Bears – heated debate

Property Forum and News website where UK landlords and letting agents share best practice