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  • In the Spotlight

    New BBC 1 programme - "Meet the Landlords"

    They filmed us for around 10 weeks and we feature in it tonight, in a small way i think

    Cant comment on what they wanted to film with Jim and Paul but with us it was always about how we are trying to help the vulnerable tenants and that letting agents aren't all that bad etc and also some of the stuff we have to deal with as agents and that it isnt all the agents or LL fault

    They filmed about 3 or 4 tenants situations and then chose the one tenant, he is quite a character

    The guy thats featured tonight is a tenant that most agents wouldn't give a chance to, but we did and he's turned out to be a really good tenant, although he seems to be constantly drunk

    Dont think hollywood beckons though Smile

    JP
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    John Paul MARLA
    Managing Director
    Sunday Times Letting Agent of the Year 2014
    Investors In People GOLD accreditation
    http://www.thecastledenegroup.com
    (18-07-2013 03:01 PM)John Paul Wrote:  They filmed us for around 10 weeks and we feature in it tonight, in a small way i think

    Cant comment on what they wanted to film with Jim and Paul but with us it was always about how we are trying to help the vulnerable tenants and that letting agents aren't all that bad etc and also some of the stuff we have to deal with as agents and that it isnt all the agents or LL fault

    They filmed about 3 or 4 tenants situations and then chose the one tenant, he is quite a character

    The guy thats featured tonight is a tenant that most agents wouldn't give a chance to, but we did and he's turned out to be a really good tenant, although he seems to be constantly drunk

    Dont think hollywood beckons though Smile

    JP

    Trouble is whilst you are capable of managing such a 'drunk' situation; dealing with tenants the way you do is I guess more of an art form.
    You have developed expertise etc which the average small LL hasn't a hope of ever achieving!!
    As a LA of HB expertise you are probably premier in your field as you have indicated even LA contact you for advice on how to do things!!
    The average small LL is so far out their depth when it comes to dealing with such tenant types.
    You have the wisdom of experience and that makes you a rarity in the HB field.
    Difficult to get the issues across in a tv programme.
    Hopefully you don't end up on the cutting room floor.
    The industry needs people like you.
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    Hi Paul

    Thanks for those comments, really appreciate it

    I had a meeting with a co-ordinator of a group of social landlords yesterday and we are going to be hopefully working with them on issues such as Universal Credit, creative LHA strategies, upskilling of their tenants etc so it does go to show that RSL and LA do need help now and again. They asked for the meeting!!

    Be a real coup if we can get something sorted with them, they manage over 50,000 properties between them

    Fingers crossed about tonight, i have seen a few minutes of it and Bev whose the lady involved came across really well and exactly how she is in real life, take no shit sort of a colliery lass Smile

    JP
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    John Paul MARLA
    Managing Director
    Sunday Times Letting Agent of the Year 2014
    Investors In People GOLD accreditation
    http://www.thecastledenegroup.com
    Looking forward to seeing Bev on TV this evening, she is an absolute star.
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    Review of "Meet the Landlords" ... BBC 1 ... 18th July 2013

    Okay ...

    The programme focussed almost entirely on the lower end of the private rented sector with poor quality accommodation and troubled tenants.

    Jim Haliburton - The self-styled HMO Daddy - was featured extensively. His rooms were damp and poor quality and he had some rather unhappy tenants who had various issues including alcohol abuse.

    He claimed his portfolio was worth £26 million and would "double in value in 10 years". He also said that he himself came from a deprived background.

    The programme followed Landlord Anna who had to go to court to get her property back with £7.5 of rent arrears. At the end of the programme she said that she was selling her property as she could not stand the stress of being a landlord. She had considered selling her £1500 pet dog to pay the mortgage!!

    Caroline had rented her property out while abroad. When she came back, she wanted her property back, but the tenants refused to move out. Landlord Action got possession of her property back, but on entering the property Paul Shamplina found that there were huge holes in the ceilings (water damage?), mess piled up in the rooms, and broken windows. She had £17K of rent arrears and it would take a few thousand to get her property back to a standard she could live in with her two children.

    Cancer suffered Nicky was shown being served notice because her landlord wanted to turn the property into bedsits. She was worried that she would not be able to find anywhere else. "Social housing is like gold dust" she told us. She eventually managed to rent from a private landlord who accepted LHA tenants.

    Bev at Castledene was seen dealing with an ASBO tenant Paul, who cried when she showed him his new property. She said she sometimes felt like a social worker, trying to help tenants with their problems.

    Overall, it showed that amateur landlords suffer huge losses when they encounter rogue tenants.

    Jim Haliburton's rooms were pretty vile but it seemed that it was all the kind of tenants he had could afford.

    The tenants blamed Jim Haliburton for squalid properties and Jim Haliburton blamed the tenants for their squalid lifestyles. It was hard to know which was more to blame. The featured tenants did not like him very much and said he was only in it for the money.

    His premier accommodation "The 3 Horseshoes" - a grimy pub converted into bedsits - did not seem that lucky for his unfortunate tenants who were expected to pay £15 per week top up on their housing benefit payments to pay for "extras". Tenant Mikey claimed the room was a bedsit masquerading as a "studio flat". The room was damp and cramped.

    Jim Haliburton said that he turned properties into HMO's by "adding a few smoke alarms and putting some locks on the doors ... nothing much to do really".

    There was a number of unpleasant remarks on twitter about how the HMO Daddy operates. I was tweeting on #MeetLL hashtag.

    Throughout the programme Jim Haliburton wore a natty tank top and was accompanied by a large Alsation dog. There was a brief segment of him teaching as the HMO Daddy and about 15 students taking notes on how to follow in his footsteps.

    I could relate to very little of it. It was largely alien to my experience of being a landlord and I found some of it upsetting that people could live in such squalid conditions, mostly at the expense of the tax payer.

    I don't think it did landlords any favours. The only person who came out of it well was Bev at Castledene who genuinely cared about the tenants and was given a big hug by a grateful tenant.

    But let's face it ... good landlords providing good quality accommodation for good tenants would not have achieved any ratings as its too boring!
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    Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **Book your FREE portfolio review and health check with Property Tribes Financial Services**

    (18-07-2013 11:48 PM)vanessa warwick Wrote:  Review of "Meet the Landlords" ... BBC 1 ... 18th July 2013

    There was a brief segment of him teaching as the HMO Daddy and about 15 students taking notes on how to follow in his footsteps.

    For you Vanessa is often black or white, in my experience there are also many shades of gray in between.

    I have not watched the program but I will watch it soon. In fact I was there during the filming in the group of people who came to see how Jim run his business and drill him on the topic. It was only £100 for a day with him, great value for money. I did not go there to “follow in his footsteps”, few people did. Few people I spoke to actually were shocked by what they learned during the day and said that they don’t want to go that road at all.

    The amount of units Jim gets in his properties are shocking. He divides large rooms in to two rooms. He puts card operated electricity meters in each rooms. He puts electric radiators in each rooms. He does so many things that many people find strange but he has reasons for it and he says it works for him. Its all legal otherwise he would be out of business. As for tenants - they make their own decisions where to live.

    Just reading this tread I found few are asking questions how Jim does that, how he gets away with that - and so on. Its clear that people are interested to know, learn and perhaps adapt to their strategy.

    Of the group ( I don’t remember how many) about half were existing landlords some with single lets some with HMO’s, others where researching the strategy, other were considering investing with Jim and there was me.

    I don’t think many people aspire to be in situation as Jim and do business this way. Its very hard work. Security is big problem.

    BTW there is nothing wrong with being landlord, running HMO, making money, learning from other mistakes, getting questions answered by real professionals who been in business for many years and know everything there is to know about legals of it.

    Max Karpis
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    I dont know how jim halburton gets away with it.
    How does his property's pass hmo regulations.i am surprised the council does not shut them down.
    I think its a calculated decision to get as many units as he can and offer the worst kind of standards in his accomodation to people who cannot complain becouse they have no where to go except the streets.i doubt the value of his portfolio as he is based in birmingham not london. ( 26m/ 100 property ave of £260k per property.)i very much doubt it as they were all shit holes in the worst state imaginable and i hope his lenders were watching as i dont think they have much security for their loans.
    Are there not minimum standards of accomodation re hmo" s in terms of size and quality and fire regs.
    The council should investigate all his propertys as its tax payers money paying for such poor standard accomodation.
    And he teaches this crap to wannabe landlords all wanting to jump on the hmo bandwaggon.
    What a joke
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    With Jim, I think that if he sorted the damp out, then the properties would be fit for purpose cosmetically i.e. for the type of tenant who has nowhere else to go. Lets face it someone has to operate at that end of the market.

    I have no issue with him wearing a tank top and don't see the relevance of that comment??

    BUT, I was wondering about HMO licence etc. as that is a lot more work than "fit locks and a few smoke alarms" as he said.
    __

    Bev from Castledene was fantastic.
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    Firstly I think everything that did not make a nice simple sound bite that is easy to understand was edited out.

    It also depends on the property, if it is 2 stories and all the rooms have large windows, then there is not much you HAVE to do.

    I know that Jim fits fire sprinkler systems whenever he does a full refit, I will view the program tonight, so I don’t know if they covered this.


    (19-07-2013 12:17 AM)daniel_booth Wrote:  With Jim....

    BUT, I was wondering about HMO licence etc. as that is a lot more work than "fit locks and a few smoke alarms" as he said
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    No way I could operate like Jim does but he is working at the low end of the market with what appeared to be social misfits. I think £15 for top up is reasonable considering the tenants get HB covering the rent in full. At the end of the day if they don't like it then get a job and find somewhere better.

    The two women got their fingers burnt because of lack of experience and I think they let it drag on way too long.

    I felt sorry for the single mum with cancer, her son was really cute. No way I could have thrown her out knowing she had cancer but then we don't know the full story from the landlords point of view.
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