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Mark Alexander

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  1. Nope just choosing to ignore the crap you are spouting, I have a life outside of HPC you see, I could debate each point with you from now until the end of time but I have better things to be getting on with, like keeping my tenants and my bankers happy.
  2. Yes I am still lurking Even if my mortgage lenders were to allow me to offer assured tenancies I would not do so because I have no faith in section 8. I am not alone. Until this problem is fixed I will probably do what most landlords do and continue to resort to using section 21 to gain possession when I need to do so, even in the event of default where theoretically section 8 should be the fastest route to gaining possession. I wish this wasn't necessary but sadly it is. Thankfully I have only ever had cause to evict three tenants in 26 years in of being a landlord. I have had thousands of tenants over the years and in most cases we have enjoyed a mutually satisfactory relationship. However, things don't always go to plan and I've had a few horror stories, the details of one such example can be found documented on my own blog by searching Google for "Perfect tenant of 6 years turns heroin addicted prostitute"
  3. Just popped back to say thanks for all your feedback and to let you know that we have amended a lot of our "How It All Works" based as a result of it. PS - a deed of assurance is not an insurance policy, it is a contract by way of deed. Call a spade a shovel if you like but there is a difference.
  4. Parting thoughts ..... If your landlord decides to sell up would you rather they serve you notice and sell their property with vacant possession or would you rather they look to sell the property to another landlord? When you or somebody you know next rent a property would you recommend signing a six month tenancy or try to find a landlord who offers you a Deed of Assurance? This is a very simple list of what good landlords want from their tenants:- 1) rent on time 2) respect the neighbours 3) respect the property 4) mutual respect and cooperation between landlord and tenant 5) a long term relationship Please accept that both landlords and tenants are a representation of society as a whole, there are good and bad people in all walks of society. If you or people close to you want/need to rent a property, what will you do to ensure that you end up in a relationship that both landlord and tenant deserve? If you focus on what you do want then in my experience you are far more likely to find it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that you are more likely to find what you focus on the most. My advice, therefore, is that you focus on what you really want a lot more than you focus on what you really don't want. If you really do want a House Price Crash then by all means focus on that. Be careful what you wish for those. I accept that there will be further house price crashes in my lifetime, my focus on on surviving them. So far I have survived two. Good luck!
  5. Thanks for the welcome What do you mean when you say "take out a Deed of Assurance"? Do you think this is some sort of insurance policy perhaps? If so you have misunderstood. It is a legal document which states a landlords intention to allow a tenant to occupy a property for a longer period than the tenancy says (subject to the tenancy conditions being met of course) combined with a legally binding promise from landlord to tenant that is possession is sought for any reason other than breach of tenancy on the part of the tenant then the landlord will pay a pre-agreed level of compensation. If landlord and tenant cannot agree terms up front (i.e. before the tenancy begins) then the tenant finds an alternative landlord and the landlord finds an alternative tenant. If a tenant can't find the property and/or a tenant that he/she is happy with doesn't this support my point that the problem is due to lack of supply of good rental property/landlords? Something I have noticed is that landlords and tenants do seem to eventually settle at their own level, e.g. stubborn tenants who resent landlords tend to end up with stubborn landlords who resent tenants. Clearly there are mis-matches on both sides from time to time but the level is always found eventually. When problems occur they appear to me to stem from a lack of understanding on both sides. Of course, very few get to hear about great landlord/tenant relationships, only the bad ones. Running a landlords forum I get to hear thousands of stories about scum of the earth tenants and very little about scum landlords. Having said that, we do have tenants posting occasionally and they are generally well treated because good landlords want to rid off and expose bad landlords as much as their tenants do. Have a look around Property118 and you will find quite a few examples of landlords advising tenants how to screw over their bad landlord. When I venture into forums such as HPC I expect to find just the opposite, i,e. a lot more tales of woe from tenants and landlord bashing. I learn from this in many ways, i.e. how people think and communicate, signs to look out for that credit checks would not show up, questions to ask etc. I'm not hear because I enjoy the insults, I am here for many reasons. Those of you who are renting may well want to live in one of my properties one day. The more I can learn about the mindset of a tenant, the more likely I am to be able to cherry pick the best of the bunch. Maybe some of your members who do rent could also learn how to find the best landlords by communicating in the way that I do. Those who enjoy hating us will probably continue to experience issues to fuel that hatred. We all have choices. Having said all of that, I think I've learned enough from being here for now. I may pop back some time. Thanks and goodbye for now
  6. That is a very good point. I agree that the vacant period is realistically 4 months based on selling a rented property to a homeowner as opposed to selling it tenanted to another landlord. However, I think it is more likely that the period between offer and completion is closer to three months and that properties generally vacated at least one month prior to the buyer being found. I accept that it usually takes a few months to find a buyer but properties can still be advertised whilst a tenant is in situ. Whether their tenancy provides for access for viewings and whether tenants respect such conditions even if they exists are a different matter though. I read an article on the Empty Homes website recently which claims that a vacant property typically devalues neighbouring properties by 18%. I'm also aware that there are issues in terms of insuring vacant properties, either the premium shoots up or in some cases they are not insurable. Perhaps when the new portal is more established, homeowners will feel more confident to obtain consent to let from their mortgage lenders and sell their properties tenanted? If they appoint good agents who do the property referencing and also buy quality Rent Guarantee Insurance their risks will be minimised and their cashflow will substantially improve. Historically tenanted properties have rarely changed hands and when they have done so it has been at a discount against open market value with vacant possession. However, I think that could all change due to the new pension freedoms whereby many more over 55's will be looking to invest into well managed property for immediate cashflow.
  7. So what's to stop governments from compulsory purchasing land and developing new affordable housing stock? Just look at the speed that Dubia emerged from the desert, and even the sea. The UK housing crisis could be completed in less than one generation. The problem of successive governments relying too heavily on the private sector and I agree that this only serves to drive up prices. I also agree that the current incentives you have listed are pointless. They are designed to win votes, not to solve real housing issues. Post war, the population was re-housed very quickly. Coventry was flattened for instance but was very quickly rebuilt. There were also hundreds of provincial developments created. I accept that many of these developments were disgusting pre-fabs and high rises but lessons have been learned from that and construction technology has moved on significantly too. When more homes are built the need for discussions like the one we are having, as well as the resentful comments directed at me by some members on this forum, will no longer be considered necessary by any of us. Now I don't want to get political and please don't think I support UKIP or the Chinese methods of population control (because I don't), however, there does need to much more consideration towards population growth and providing infrastructure to support it. Housing should clearly be high in that agenda.
  8. The biggest issue that I have in terms of selling the Deed of Assurance concept to landlords is the "why should I attitude". This is far easier to explain in the provinces where it is more difficult to find and replace good tenants, however, in areas such as London where there is a huge queue of tenants for every available property its a major issue. IMHO it would be far better to increase the supply of property. This is because it is the supply/demand issues that fires the capitalism causing the problems. Imagine if there were more rental properties available than tenants. The cost of renting would fall dramatically because tenants would have choices and be in a far better position to negotiate and the worst or most over-priced properties would be the ones left vacant. This is the position in many of the areas that I have invested into, hence the need for me to offer a Deed of Assurance to persuade tenants that my words are contractual and not just hollow promises. Tougher regulations, such as those you have suggested, would only serve to reduce investment incentive into property, and hence reduce the incentive for developers to build new homes for sale to the PRS. The knock on effect would be less building, higher compliance related costs and even higher demand for tenanted property .... all of which would serve to make the problem worse, not better.
  9. The relationship between a tenant and landlord should one of a working business relationship. No business relationship can survive if it is one sided and a party refuses to assist in making it work. A Landlord may have no option but to sell. Why try and stop them from replacing the owner rather than the tenant? Isn't that akin to cutting ones nose off to spite ones face. Let me put this another way in the form of an analogy; if I stay in a hotel and refuse to allow the maid into the room I can hardly complain when I have no clean towels can I? The status quo right now is that if a landlord wants/needs to sell, the expectation of the property market is that he/she will serve a section 21 notice in order to make progress towards selling with vacant possession. Surely selling to another landlord makes more sense for all parties?
  10. I think it's more likely that those people you speak of will sell conventionally, i.e. to owner occupiers, with or without a correction in house prices. Can anybody here provide me with some stats on how many properties were sold in the last 12 months as a split between BTL buyers and owner occupiers please? My best guestimate is around two third of purchases were to owner occupiers and one third to landlords but that's based on anecdotal evidence as opposed to in depth research.
  11. Thank you for sharing the counter-arguments, this thread is now transforming into a constructive debate. I appreciate that I've wandered into the dragons den and to many HPC members my views are likely to be about a popular as a fart in a space suit. Nevertheless, I'm happy to ignore the ignorant and have a sensible debate with people like your good self. Much like the NLA, I am pro-landlord, although I do disagree with the NLA on several issues. FWIW I am not an NLA member, I'm not even sure they'd have me, I'm too maverick for them! There are several reasons that I have yet to raise in terms of why I don't like the stable rental contract but I can assure you that getting rid of good tenants isn't one of them. What everybody need to accept is that circumstances can and often do change for both landlords and tenants. I agree that money isn't everything but when it comes to resolving the most difficult of issues then it is they only thing that matters in many cases. Let me give you a few examples:- 1) Landlord falls into financial difficulty and needs to sell up 2) Landlord dies and mortgage company want their loan to be repaid (landlords should be forced to buy life insurance to protect their mortgages IMHO) 3) Landlords get divorced 4) Landlords get disillusioned 5) Landlords fall ill and need to sell up Is it really right that a tenant should be able to remain in occupation for up to 5 years in these circumstances but can leave the property with just 2 months notice without reason? Most things come down to monetary compensation when a contract is frustrated/broken and that is what the Deed of Assurance provides for. When more landlords start offering them and when the supply/demand ratio reverses it will be tenants who will be in the driving seat in terms of negotiations, i.e. length of assurance period and amount of compensation in the event of no fault displacement. For that to happen though the government (whoever they are) have either got to find a way control population growth and/or increase housing stock. Regulation is not the answer because all it will do is remove investment incentive from the most compliant of society and leave property in the hands of rogue operators. House prices are not the answer to the housing crisis either. Even if properties were all worth £1 each there still isn't enough of them to go around. Whilst supply of property remains below demand levels then the poorest in society will have little to no choices and be left with the very worst options in terms of hoping to find a decent place to live, either as an owner or a tenant. Nobody would choose to live in a mouldy unsafe property with an abusive landlord if they really had a choice would they? It's the lack of choice due to the lack of available property which is the problem. If everybody had choices nobody would choose a bad property. The likes of review websites such as Trip advisor would take care of that. Getting back to the core of this thread though, I agree that if it can be established that a landlord to landlord market can exist then that may well provide ammunition to campaigners who want to get rid of section 21. The success of my wife's new business is highly dependent upon awareness. The plan is to raise £250,000 of crowd funding to kickstart a £500,000 a year ITV awareness campaign. This will buy around 8 million live views of a 10 second adverts every month. It's a simple proposition so 10 second adverts are enough "i.e. Looking to buy to sell a tenanted property? Free advertising, No Commission, see Property118.com. I wonder whether the anti s21 campaigners will buy the shares made available via the Crowd Funding platform when they are released? Somehow I doubt it but I sincerely hope I'm wrong. I will read the links you've kindly provided in detail tomorrow but in the meantime my beautiful Russian bride has other plans for me, so its goodnight from me
  12. I came up with the concept yes. Several of my tenants are elderly, disabled or have young children with special needs. Many of them had previously had bad experiences with amateur PRS landlords who promised them they could stay long term and then decided to sell up as soon as the initial 6 or 12 month fixed term AST came to an end. These poor people had barely unpacked and got settled only to learn they had to find new homes and fund the costs of moving through no fault of their own. I wanted to offer my tenants more than a verbal promise. I want nice long term tenants and I was prepared to put my money where my mouth is in terms of providing them with a home for as long as they want to be there. I got the contracts drawn up by a direct public access barrister. I'm not a lawyer but I have helped several solicitors and barristers in the past so I can call in favours of this nature where required. Even Shelter couldn't find fault with the Deed of Assurance, their former Head of Policy (Robbie De Santos) even blogged about it. I doubt I can post links here due to being a Newbie otherwise I would link to that blog. However, if you search Google for "Shelter We need to talk solutions as well as problems with renting" the blog I'm referring to does come up at the top of search results. Sadly they didn't follow through and seem to have adopted a "not made here" approach and have continued to push their own inferior idea of "stable rental contract". It is such a shame because Shelter are so well funded and well connected, they really could make a difference if they were to work with the PRS as opposed to focussing only on demonising it and playing amateur politics by calling for ridiculous new anti-PRS legislation.
  13. I'm interested in what you have to say. Please explain further how you see the notices given by homeowners working and on what basis it is different to section 21. What are the provisions that you think would "come back"? What act of former legislation are you referencing please? I'm pleased you like the Deed of Assurance concept at least in principle. The beauty of it is that the landlord cannot be judge and jury. In the event of a dispute over whether compensation is due it would be settled by the Small Claims Courts, and as with Deposit Protection disputes the burden of proof rests with the landlord, i.e. proof that compensation is not payable on the basis of an eviction within the assured period being due to breach of tenancy.
  14. I don''t think it is as black or white as that Neverwhere. If section 8 eviction procedures could become more effective (Court times, bailiff turnaround times etc.) then I doubt section 21 notices would be used anywhere near as much. However, if I was a home-owner wanting to let my property for a year or so whilst working away/abroad I would be campaigning hard to retain section 21. Same goes for young couples renting a property whilst they try out living together. As a professional landlord, in the business for the long term, I offer my tenants a Deed of Assurance. If you don't know what that is please Google it. The simple explanation is that the landlord retains the right to serve notice at any time but pays compensation if notice is given to a tenant who is not in breach of his/her tenancy. I started a campaign called "The Good Landlords Campaign" and I'm pleased to say that hundreds of like-minded landlords and agents have joined and now offer the Deed of Assurance. Once it becomes better known it will be a wonderful way for tenants who want to stay in a property for the long haul to have some peace of mind, at least in terms of covering their moving costs if they need to be moved on through no fault of their own. It is far better than Shelter were proposing in respect of their "Stable Rental Contracts" because it doesn't tie tenants into a long term contract that they may not wish to complete for a variety of reasons, e.g. financial, job related, relationships etc. I'm all for ways to enable tenants to be able to distinguish professional landlords from amateurs, wannabes, rogues and the downright ignorant and clueless. Landlord Accreditation is making headway with this too and I was recently delighted to read that the NLA have now released a national register of accredited landlords. I haven't seen the need to complete Landlord Accreditation before now but that is changing. I trust that answers your question?
  15. Thank you for your feedback and well wishes. I'm not looking to use this forum for promotion, I was alerted to the thread by Google and didn't like what I was reading so felt compelled to reply.
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