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  • In the Spotlight

    "The Week the Landlords Moved In" - Ep. 2



    The second episode of this series aired tonight.

    It featured landlords Dan and Jamie who started building their portfolio when they were 19.  

    The pair are located in Leeds and Dan lives in a city centre penthouse.

    They have an in-house cook costing them £10.00 per hour.  Jamie reckons their time is worth £750.00 per hour.

    They like their lifestyle and indulge themselves with treats.

    They like to outsource their 14 properties to lettings agents.

    They have no emotional attachment to their properties and buy by the numbers.

    They are moving into a 2 bed house in County Durham.  Their tenant Michael shows us around the house.  The bedroom door is off the hinges, the windows don't open, another door is rotten, and there is rubbish in the backyard left over from the previous tenants.

    A faulty boiler was replaced a while back but the job was not finished properly and there are exposed pipes.

    Michael has spent around £400.00 of his own money making the property better.  He has redecorated it.  He doesn't want to move because he says it is too expensive and the house is 90 seconds from where he works - at Tesco.

    Jamie and Dan arrive in their flashy Merc and notice the rubbish immediately.  They think the house is in good condition and well decorated.

    Prab is the next landlord. He has a portfolio worth over £10 million. Another flashy Merc and self-built 5 bed house in Essex are the evidence of his success.  His wife shows us her two ovens.

    Prab talks about his humble beginnings. His father worked for Royal Mail.

    Until recently, Prab self-managed every aspect of the business.  He was "driven by providing a service for his customers".  He moved into property development a year ago, so handed over the management of his portfolio to his 18 year old son.

    He is seen in the office talking to his son. They talk about putting the rents up and achieving an extra £2K per month. He says he will buy his son a trip to Las Vegas if he manages to get the rents increased and reach the £2K target.

    Prab's wife has OCD and is worried about the cleanliness of the property they will be experiencing.

    They are moving into one of their houses in Leeds, which is currently tenanted by a family.  The family have been renting the property for a year.

    Showing us around the house, the tiles in the bathroom have been painted over, there is mould in the child's bedroom, and the back outside wall of the property is in a very poor condition with the paint peeling off.

    Despite his wife having qualified as a doctor in India, the husband, Vishal is the only one working, so they are on a tight budget.

    Vishal has discovered that the electricity meter is serving two properties and he is paying for two properties - the person next door getting free electricity. Prab's office did not assist and Vishal does not trust them.

    Prab says he bought the house 5 years ago and split it into a house, a flat, and a shop.  He cannot remember much about it.

    Prab's wife is not impressed by the outside of the property and the amount of traffic noise.

    They open the envelope and read the concerns of the tenant.

    They look at the mould in the tenant's child's bedroom.  Prab says it is decorative and just needs painting over.

    Back with Jamie and Dan, they have been given Michael's budget of £71.00 each for the week.

    Prab and Mina's weekly budget is £87.75 - a sharp contrast to their £1K per month lifestyle.

    Jamie and Dan go to the local shop and buy some cheap food.  They discover there is no microwave at the property.

    Watching them trying to cook a dinner is embarrassing, they have no clue.

    Prab returns to his house with the shopping, having spent £37.00 pounds.  Prab appears to have forgotten that his wife is vegetarian and has bought two meat dishes!

    Mina is not happy with her children sleeping in the bedroom with the mould.  

    The next morning Dan and Jamie discover more things about the house that makes life difficult.  They call their Property Manager to report the problems who says that a man was sent to clear the rubbish and repair the door.  This obviously never happened, even though the handyman was paid for the work.

    Prab and Mina take a closer look at their house and are noticing some issues but they deny they are "bodge" jobs.

    Prab has trouble lighting up the hob.  

    Prab and his family visit a soft play area and Prab says it reminds him of when he was little and he does not want to be reminded of what it is like to be in pecuniary circumstances.

    Jamie talks about how his mum worked in a supermarket. He says he wants to do right by his tenant Michael.

    Meanwhile, Mina has been out shopping and spent £16.00 on more food and Prab is worried that their budget for the week is disappearing fast.

    Prab says he feels upset and vulnerable having to budget everything.  He says that Mina and him never argue about money.

    Jamie and Dan meet Michael in a local cafe.  They tell him why they buy properties in the area.  Michael says he hopes to one day buy his own home but he's unable to save for a deposit due to so much of his money going on rent, and him having to start another job after suffering a stroke.  

    Michael says he's reported the issues in the house many times but nothing ever happened.  He is now thinking of moving because of the lack of maintenance at the property.

    Dan and Jamie say that they live miles from the property, as does the Managing Agent, so there is no one local to deal with the property.

    The pair say they now realise there is a human aspect to their business and it's not just about the money.

    Michael and his friends say that landlords from down South are getting rich off cheap Northern properties, and pushing locals out of the market.

    Prab meets his tenant Vishal.  They have never met or spoken.  Prab asks why the issues were not reported to his office. Vishal says he did report the issues, but nothing was done.  Vishal is most concerned that the electricity meter is running two properties and he is paying two bills - he says Prab owes him a lot of money!

    Prab says he is looking at how his son is running the portfolio and wants to improve things.

    Prab is upset that Vishal was not listened to.  He feels a responsibility to his tenants.

    Prab invites his son Rowan to come and see the property he is supposed to be managing.  His son says he addressed Vishal's concerns.  He has not visited the property since Vishal moved in. Prab says that Rowan needs some more training and support in running the business.

    The tenants return to their rental properties.

    Jamie and Dan say they need to help tenants make a house a home.

    Michael returns. The rubbish has gone from the garden, the pipes are boxed in, and the door is hanging up.  He's happy, especially when he finds that Jamie and Dan have refunded him £400.00 for the work he has done on the property.

    Jamie and Dan say they are still learning and the programme has helped them to learn how to be better landlords.

    Prab has found the week "valuable".  He is reminded how he must be more involved in the business.

    Vishal and his family return. There is a new hob in the kitchen, new tiling in the bathroom, and the mould has been attended to.

    Prab has given his tenant £100.00 compensation for the meter and says he is sorting it out.

    Vishal is happy with the property and says it feels more like a home.

    Prab says he has appreciated that his tenants are real people with real lives.

    Read our review of the first episode - BBC 1 Landlord Programme - Review 

    Read our review of the third episode - Episode 3 with Paul Routledge and Samuel Leeds

    The programme is available on iPlayer >>> here.

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    My Verdict:

    Jamie and Dan were complete wannabes who thought themselves to be some kind of entrepreneurial geniuses.  Their arrogance about their success combined with their lack of knowledge was cringe-worthy.

    Prab seemed like an amiable person who had lost touch with reality.  I cannot imagine an 18 year old being left to manage such a huge portfolio.  What training had he had?  Prab developed the property, so why did he not put two electricity meters in?  That seems a basic mistake or bodge job.

    Like the landlords in the previous programme both sets of landlords were focussed on the wealth they had made and had little understanding of their responsibilities and that properties need constant maintenance and up-dating.

    I find it perplexing that people who have made so much money from renting out properties are "learning" at tenants' expense.  What are their other properties like?  This programme painted landlords as wealthy people out of touch with reality,  who had earned money off the misery of others.   I can't disagree with that portrayal - unfortunately.

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    Simply unbelievable the incompetence of these LL

    No need to have expensive LA.

    Get rid of them

    Skype which none of these idiot LL seem to have heard of is an excellent way for tenants to be able to engage with their LL

    The idiots who had 1.5 million of property

    So what so have I and if I didn't live in the same block I would contact my tenants on a monthly basis for a routine property inspection via Skype during which I would take notes of any issues the tenant mentioned.

    Then I resolve the issues by using contractors that I have sourced locally to the property.

    How hard is that!!??

    Any tenant that refused a Skype inspection I would inspect personally.

    These LL just don't seem to be capable of dong the simple stuff.

    They waste money on fancy offices and extra unneeded employees.

    These LL through their incompetence and inefficiencies are losing money hand over fist.

    If you are near your properties by say an hrs drive you really don't need a LA.

    Even if you are further away it is still worth a 2 hr drive to manage things once every so often

    I managed a property an hr away from me.

    Things had to be fixed

    I visited the property about 6 times in 5 years

    Didn't pay a penny to any LA.

    It really wasn't any hardship.

    I hadn't even thought of Skype

    It really is quite simple to manage a 1.5 million pound property portfolio.

    None of my tenants would i have expected to tolerate the issues highlighted on this programme.

    Any business worth its salt knows that customer retention is the key to a low cost business investment strategy.

    Most of my tenants come by word of mouth

    I am not cheap, but I am a good LL..

    I have no problem retaining tenants who only leave due to changed domestic circumstances.

    I'm simply amazed at these LL who seem to think that they are so clever

    I think they are as thick as s###t!!

    They are winners are they!!?

    So what happens when your tenants seem to keep leaving for no supposed apparent reason!!??

    They simply don't seem to know how to run a business properly.

    Any fool can rip off tenants.

    But you don't want that..

    You want your tenants to be your best salespeople.

    I have saved fortunes by using this strategy. Everyone is happy and to boot I make more money by not having to use LA etc.

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    I nearly switched off after the opening credits. The two young guys were complete muppets. And, their story just wasn't even plausible. Only 14 low rent properties, 3 staff, everything outsourced, etc. Even if they'd bought the properties for cash (highly unlikely imo), there's no way they could have enjoyed that kind of lifestyle. What was in it for them? I just don't understand why they did it.

    Not sure I can be bothered to watch next week. It'll just be more of the same. As I said to another landlord yesterday, I'll give you a £10 bet there WILL be mould, and it WON'T be the tenants fault.

    Sadly, they didn't take the bet.

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    Sadly all too predictable.

    How could the landlords taking part not realise this would happen?

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    The programme was clearly designed to be a simple, and simplistic, 'lets knock the landlords' programme.  I haven't watched and don't intend to. (I just read Property Tribes take!)   Landlords on all of the forums I engage with knew what would happen and wouldn't volunteer to take part.  

    So far it would seem that the landlords who put themselves forward did so to flaunt their bit of wealth and get themselves on telly. There are muppets in every walk of life.  

    I hope that the programme will also show the ordinary, decent landlords who have great relationships with their tenants and look after their properties.  But that wouldn't make sensational TV, would it?

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    I disagree that the aim is to knock Landlords - I think that this is an own goal, it's up to LL to behave responsibly & talk about that.

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    Where would the fun be in watching people being reasonable?There is no programme called Decent Tenants and Good Landlords.The "story" of this series is clearly landlords being redeemed after experiencing how their tenants live, which requires that the landlords who need redeeming 

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    Of course there are bad landlords - and bad tenants, and bad doctors, and bad hairdressers etc etc.  My point is that the programme needs to be showing decent landlords as well as the thoughtless ones that have featured to date.  The responses on social media demonstrate how well the programme is feeding into the anti landlord agenda

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    I agree.  The programme is also highlighting how local councils are not enforcing the many powers they possess to fine or shut down bad landlords!

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