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Mr Tiong offers a compelling pitch and is, on first impressions, a very likeable character - aren't they all.The first meeting I had with him, he turned up at my place in his Lamborghini, smart shoes and tailored suit.He delivered a perfectly honed personal ‘rags to riches’ story then proceeded to sell me the dream of becoming a property millionaire, a lifestyle of sitting on the beach and doing nothing while the money keeps rolling in. And who wouldn’t be interested in such a lifestyle?Property investment is something I had been considering for some time. Now, suddenly, here was a man willing to show me just how easy it could be.I should stress at this point that I am currently out of work, though I have some savings and no mortgage on my house. No problem, he said, we can leverage the equity on your current property for investment and ring-fence your savings to use for on-going living costs.
The aim: buy up to 3 properties in Year One. He alluded to knowing non-high-street mortgage lenders willing to offer up to 85% of the property value, thereby minimising my up-front capital requirement (laughable in hindsight, I know). No one would lend me money on my property without me first having a job. Mr Tiong had to have known this from the outset.
As part of his services, he committed to a number of one to one meetings plus several investor Wealth meetings. He gave me a contract to sign, a contract with one very uncomfortable clause in it, that the fees were non-refundable once the ‘services’ had commenced.Prior to signing, I twice asked him for clarification on what ‘services’ meant, and on both occasions received assurances that this was based on the submitting of an offer on a first property (his offering includes all sorts of additional services, for a fee), and that should I decide to withdraw prior to that juncture the fees would be pro-rated based on the number of meetings we had held up to that point. I understand that my naiveté here is unforgivable, particularly considering my past work experiences.Naturally, I conducted an online search into Mr Tiong prior to getting involved with him but found minimal to no coverage, and nothing of negative consequence. Finally I agreed to proceed. I can only put my blindness down to the fact that I felt that I could trust this man. After all he had been introduced to me by someone I had known for many years.
Suffice to say the ‘property millionaire’ picture I had been painted proved a complete mismatch with the reality that would soon confront me. I don’t wish to divulge the not insignificant fee for signing up to his services, but I should have run a mile when told that the promised riches were contingent on such a large up-front fee.
I held just 2 x one to one meetings with Mr Tiong - after paying the fee in full - before it became obvious that I was clearly being misled. He insisted on a further meeting, which I reluctantly agreed to. This turned out to be yet another attempt, by him, to ‘sell’ me the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The scenario Mr Tiong put to me at this point was: No lender would give me a mortgage as I was unemployed (Shock, horror), that I should take out a short-term ‘finance’ loan at a minimum 1% (per month) for 6 months to purchase a property (£ Thousands); then spend all my savings on redeveloping said property (incl. £50-60k redevelopment, paying him another not insignificant property finder’s fee, plus a further 3% stamp duty which he had neglected to factor into any affordability calculation).In fact, my ability to finance any of this seemed to be of no consequence, as all of Mr Tiong’s fees were to be paid prior to any real investment taking place. The objective of this strategy was that, post-redevelopment, the property value would likely have increased sufficiently to finance the equity required to obtain a 75% mortgage on the property.
At this point it became clear that I was being taken for a ride - though I had had my suspicions shortly after paying the fee. Naturally, I put a stop to our arrangement and asked for my money back. He ignored me for a week and a half.When he eventually responded (after me chasing him), he quoted the terms of the contract - i.e. that all fees were non-refundable once provision of services had commenced - in this revised perspective: our beginning to hold one to one meetings. I don’t have any nice words the man. I tried to contact him again, reminding him of the assurances he had given me on two separate occasions, but he has failed to respond.
In line with these assurances, I have offered to pay him for the time commitment he has given made, and even increased this slightly as a gesture of goodwill. Whilst I still feel that this is day-light robbery, I can accept such a settlement purely as a consequence of my stupidity. However, until now, I have had no response from Mr Tiong, to this offer, or of any kind. He seems hell-bent on taking a very large sum of money from me for what amounts to little more than 10-12 hours of his time, chatting about things that are generally in the public domain. And the sum involved for just these 3 meetings is, frankly, criminal.
As it stands, I am still waiting for Mr Tiong to respond. I hope that he will abide by the personal assurances he gave me, however, I haven’t received any of my money back at the time of writing. I am sure this is an oversight on Mr Tiong’s part and I hope that a refund will be forthcoming.I will, of course, update Property Tribes with any developments on the situation.
Hi Mike,I am sorry to hear of your plight.We did have this thread about Mr. Tiong:Without passing comment on Andy Tiong I must say this sounds like very dubious practice. To suggest that you could get a bridging loan when you are unemployed is totally out of order imho.This man very nearly destroyed your financial position by the sounds of it and he showed a complete lack of "duty of care" to you as a client.As it happens, I also know of someone else who was conned by Andy Tiong, but unfortunately, they will not speak out about it.Perhaps if others have suffered losses, they could contact you?
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
Really sorry to hear about your experience and situation Mike, but it's thanks to people like you speaking out that others are forewarned, and educated. It's not always easy to speak out, but there are many who truly appreciate it. I wish you all the best in this, and if there's anything I can do to help you, don't hesitate to contact me.
Freelance Administrator for Property Investors / Entrepreneurs
Find me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heleneade/
Sorry to hear this. There are so many dodgy educators out there, Hopefully speaking out will mean you get repaid, Its probably your only hope I am sad to say.
Stewardson Developments Ltd.
Burson Land Ltd. & Jennings & Gilchreaste Ltd.
Follow me on twitter - @philstewardson
Never trust any GURU whose name is easily confused with skimpy underwear !
Many thanks Mike for sharing this experience. This is a brave step and hopefully will prevent others from being misled. And trust it does not put you off continuing with your property journey.
Well, I have met Andy about 2 months ago, he came to my house. When he told me the cost of the course, I politely declined.
I know about hmo concept and manage most of my properties, so there is nothing ground breaking that I can learn, definitely not for £15K price. Also room rentals in London has slowed down too, I know this as I rent all my properties out and do all the marketing and viewings.
But its sad that he would do this to some one who is in bad state financially.
The only things I can tell you is, HE WHO DARES WINS. So keep fighting, sun do rise after the dark. Good luck.
I have found it quite challenging to do research on Andy Tiong via my usual first port of call (DueDil.com), but have now discovered his full name:MR ANDY KHENG KING TIONGSnapshots from DueDil:Which company did you pay your fees to Mike?Judging from the above, Mr. Tiong does not have properties held in a limited company format.
The card that he gave me 2 months ago was from Assetone wealth system limited.
He sounds like a complete criminal to me. There should be a law against people of his ilk. I think if it were me I would be very tempted to 'sting' him - maybe have him contacted by a potential new client - when he turns up to try to milk them, I would make sure I was there with a few of my more unsavoury friends as a sort of welcoming committee..... Of course I'm not suggesting for a second that you take the law into your own hands and you probably wont get any money back, but how nice just to watch him squirm just thinking he was going to get a good hiding - you could even film it and post it on youtube as a warning to others!
Mike, sorry to hear about your experience with Tiong. I work at exposing the so called ‘professionals’ who assist these reptiles in their nefarious schemes.
Tell me - did Tiong at any point in your contact with him say he was working with a solicitor or conveyancer and if so what was that solicitor’s name?