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Andy Marshall
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my expertise in the industry

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Andy Marshall
Having been a victim of this myself many years ago I am now better equipped to make sure this does not happen to me again. Credit checks etc are not effective measures against this crime, in fact when this happened to me a Chief Constable, also a Landlord, was a topic of an article in the Telegraph I believe. Like me he had all the references and checks but criminal gangs are expert at bypassing this and he too had a cannabis factory in his property. My advice, firstly ensure that your insurance covers this including loss of rent. I did and a bill of almost £35,000 to remedy the damage to my house and loss of rent fell to the insurance company. Secondly, whether you self manage or have agents, visit the property in the early stages to ensure all adds up. I normally do this but this property is a significant distance from me and each time I popped in nobody was at home and when I tried to arrange a visit they were always away. I am now more persistent, though not to the point of over stepping boundaries. Check information given to you. Write a letter to any addresses, you can forge an email account harder to change an address. Recently I have had an issue, wrote to the address given as a reference, they phoned me back to say that they knew nothing about renting a property and were very concerned at the contents of my letter. The Police have been informed and I would be very interested if anyone has had dealings with Round Trading Ltd based in Covent Garden. Lastly if something is unusual then put your guard up, 6 months rent up front is unusual and I would be suspicious. The Police are under funded and I am not sure that they will take this crime as a high priority so its down to us to be vigilant.

From: Andy Marshall 06 December 2021 10:15 AM

Andy Marshall
I had a similar problem with a company called Professional Lettings in Gosport. They didn't register the deposit and they with withheld in total 3 months rent. Liquidators were called in and insolvency meeting arranged. Through a little luck i obtained almost 100 landlords email addresses and tried to get an overview of the situation. Some landlords were owed around £5,000. In total it was around £250,000 plus deposits that this agency had secreted away. I was able to get the insolvency halted and had about 35 landlords onside to take action. I got the Police and trading standards involved. It was a lot of time and effort from me and another landlord who led the action. Trading standards pulled out stating not enough evidence, the Police tried to get a conviction but the prosecutors when they reviewed the case decided that it was too costly and not in the public interest. I was told that the chap I dealt with was just an employee of the company, though acted like he owned it. He set up a handy man and a gardener to be the directors. I believed them when they told me that they had not received much from the company. The man whom had been the mastermind behind this had disappeared, however the Police did tell me that he was banned from owning a Limited company due to questionable practices in the past. Though I cannot say all Agencies are like this I now self manage. The sting in the tail is though the deposit was handed to Professional Tenant Finders they are not liable and the Landlords had to pay the deposit that they had not received back to the tenants. Lesson learnt!

From: Andy Marshall 16 March 2021 18:44 PM

Andy Marshall
Of course this philanthropist is right, it gives everyone another chance to deride landlords. I mean we go to a lender and all but trip over £300,000 as soon as we walk through the door. That said, this is some merit in what has been stated but like all points of view it must be taken in context. Yes it will be easier for someone to borrow money if they are solvent with a good history. However, as that person gets older the attractiveness will lessen as the risk grows. The Section 24 negates a lot of this argument as the loan is now not a taxable allowance. This will have a considerable effect on landlords whom have several buy-to-let mortgages, myself included. With regret this will mean that I will have to review my rents, most of which I have either not increased or have done so marginally since 2008. Property has always had the possibility of a good return, however it is a double edged sword and many a person has been burned and this will continue. I completely agree about the stigma of renting, when I was younger I paid rent. You were certainly treated as a second class citizen. It was a case of how things were said to you rather than being repelled by society. I also had to put up with a couple of awful landlords, but i also had some decent ones as well, overall I am certain that there are more responsible landlords now than back in the 80's. Europe is different to UK over renting and have many different rules so impossible to compare. What I do know is that in Germany they have an ongoing property revolution and property prices are soaring where a lot of Germans are putting savings into property as they deem it a safe place, much like the UK. This ,however, is making rents competitive. Maybe the UK Government should look in that direction and instead of taxing the landlord into putting up rents and excessive legislation they should promote fair competition. Just a thought. IMHO the private landlord offers better competition in a market place that will keep rents at a fair rate. Nobody wants an empty property. Anyway to give context I am just behind the baby boomer generation and have made sacrifices to build my portfolio, as I am sure many of them would have done so also.

From: Andy Marshall 04 January 2021 10:59 AM

Andy Marshall

From: Andy Marshall 22 December 2020 12:01 PM

Andy Marshall

From: Andy Marshall 30 October 2020 11:19 AM

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