Tag Archives: Landlord education

A Feel Good Story and Very Exciting News!

Picking up the on the trend of prime time reality TV documentaries, I would love to have a clichéd Immigrant Romanian Benefit Street tenant to report on but sadly they’re all working their proverbial nuts off as we speak.

Instead, I want to tell you about Lara who came to me via the Council’s Homeless Team a few weeks ago.  Her two adult sons were in supported accommodation and Lara’s non existent finances meant she had been begging sofas to sleep on from friends for the last five months.  She was tired, miserable and had been forced out of her lodging room after the landlord used to leave her presents to clear up around (not in) the toilet.

Just like a TV charity advertisement, she’s now happy, warm with a TV for entertainment and living like a queen – even buying herself some leopard print bedding from Primark to prove it.  The real point is this; the Council appear to have revised their Bond Scheme – they provide a 4 weeks’ upfront deposit paid via bank transfer into the landlord’s account and this sum is collected at £20 a month from the tenant’s benefits.  Housing benefit payments should then kick in four week’s later meaning the tenant is constantly four week’s in advance providing they keep up the payments. The bond is then returned to the council who check the tenant has kept up with repayments and the money is returned to the tenant if the landlord hasn’t made any deductions at the end of the tenancy.

Well done, Eastbourne Borough Council – good system, advertise it more!

One In, One Nearly Out

Tom is at risk of homelessness after we spent this evening watching CCTV footage of the police Continue reading


Filed under being a landlord

Worst Investor or Best Landlord of 2013?

Six years ago my Ex and I were persuaded to buy BMV (Below Market Value) properties in the North of England.  On paper, they looked like good investments and, during a time when one only needed to be able to sign their name to be granted a mortgage, it was easy.  A letting company “only” charged us £2,500 to find each property and £5,000 to refurbish it, promising immediate equity of £20,000 to £30,000.  A few of these under our belts, and next year we could be millionaires, Rodney.

Following the split I agreed to sell what I could.  The first property took six months to sell and achieved £15,000 under the perceived original value although I was grateful to be rid of it.  I instructed the sale of the next one, with a tenant in situ, but after a year of being on the market and only one vague offer which barely made it to exchange I took the decision to find another agent and help the tenant to move on with a cash incentive to aid their moving costs and market the property with vacant possession.

The agent told me it was easily worth £90,000 and with a £70,000 mortgage and £2,500 agent’s fees, I comforted myself that I would finally get something out of the house after sinking thousands into it for repair, maintenance and buying costs.  After weeks of no interest, the agent persuaded me to try their auction house for “only” £5,000 selling fees as it was sure to generate some activity there.  Three months later and I was offered, £55k, £60k and £65k.  It was a sure bet that my Ex would be unwilling to share the loss so, for the last two months, I’ve sunk another £8,500 into its long needed refurbishment, changed agent and put it  back on the rental market at a rent of £550 per month.  After agent fees and mortgage, it’ll take 60 months or 5 years to repay the investment omitting any capital growth in the north of country.

With head held high, desperately trying not to weep at having to spend hard earned savings on the stupid house and consoling myself that at least I was reinvesting rather than having to look after an empty, risky property or give funds to the mortgage company the agent called this week to say they’d found a tenant.

“Great! Brilliant! Get them in!”  I said.  “Well, the only thing is” said the agent “That she’s lived there before and wondered if you’ll have her back?  She said she loved it so much, didn’t want to leave and said you were a great landlady who sent them chocolates every Christmas.”  So, after months of paying a mortgage, council tax, insurance and utilities for an empty property, dug deep for refurb costs, spent hours finding a decent agent and agonising over turfing a good tenant out of their home, it’s gone full circle and she moves back in at the beginning of January.

Surprises in the HMOs:

Back on home turf, Tom lost his job, Sarah has discovered a ghost and my son received the most thoughtful Christmas present ever.

Tom lasted three and a half months in the warehouse of a big company.  To be fair, it was two month’s longer than any of us thought he would before he either killed someone whilst driving a forklift under the influence or his vital organs gave up trying to digest the fruits of his overtime pay.  I really do think he enjoyed being a regular, employed person but perhaps he just didn’t have the stamina to stay out of the pub.

Sarah cornered me the other day to say that she’d managed to get hold of a radiation meter to check the levels of her room.  According to her, all the rooms in the house are clear except hers.  She saw my look of alarm and put me at ease by saying that this could be due to the wifi signal but is more likely to point to the existence of a ghost which she is trying to negotiate with.  She suspects it’s a child and she’s working with it to help it move on to the other side (this could be true as the house used to be home to wayward teenagers) and assured me she’s content to live with a “squatter”.

Finally, this weekend I dragged my seven year old son round to help with rent collecting.  Tom shoved a bag into my hand and whispered “give this to George at Christmas”.  “No” I said “You give it to him so he can thank you personally”.  As George unwrapped the gift his eyes lit up to find a Chelsea football shirt with his name and age (7) on the back, signed by all the players.  “Tom? Is this legit?” I asked.  It had to be as the odds of finding a shirt with my son’s name and age written on were a long shot.  He replied “I know a bloke in the pub who owed me a favour and works at Chelsea”.  George was so bowled over, it brought a tear to Tom’s eye so I gave them a tenner and sent them off to McDonalds for some mutual appreciation where they bumped into my eldest daughter who didn’t think twice to question why some middle aged bloke was buying my son a Happy Meal!George Shirt


Filed under being a landlord

HMO Landlord Course Now Launched!

Following the popularity of “Renting HMOs Sussed”, I am now delighted to announce the launch of three course dates for “How To Be A Successful HMO Landlord”.

– Choice of  half day seminars on Saturdays 15th June, 13th July and 14th September 2013

– Convenient Brighton location

– Thinking of investing in or already an HMO Landlord?  This course is definitely for you!

This course will give you everything you need to run a happy, successful HMO with minimum tenant turnover and maximum rental yield.  I will talk you through the HMO market, how to make the most of your HMO and, most importantly, how to run it successfully for you and your tenants.   Local HMO landlords will be on hand to answer any questions and give advice.  Click here for more information and to book – I look forward to meeting you!


Filed under being a landlord, Future of HMOs, Management of an HMO