Buy To Let Pitfalls on BBC TV

‘Buy To Let Pitfalls’ on BBC TV.

Letting agents, landlords and property investors of all kinds will probably want to clear their diaries for the edition of Inside Out on BBC One in the London and south east.

Called Buy To Let Pitfalls, the show will focus on landlords who entered the sector to provide a pension for themselves, but then ran into difficulties.

The show will feature a landlord, Brian Nixon, whose portfolio of housing benefit tenants is causing him to scale back his investments following the need to instruct Landlord Action to handle two of the cases.

One of Nixon’s tenants is in £6,000 arrears because she failed to fill out the necessary housing benefit forms and did not inform the landlord. Despite numerous warnings of eviction, the tenant makes the bailiff – who had 14 other cases that day – wait while she collected some of her belongings, leaving the rest to be dealt with by the landlord.

The programme also shows the state of the property on departure of the tenant who, after being evicted, went to the council to be re-housed.

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, says: “A system where landlords do not receive housing benefit directly from the council is simply not working. Years ago, renting to social housing tenants gave landlords a steady guaranteed flow of income, in return for supporting this sector by propping up the limited accommodation the council could offer.  Everyone benefitted.

“Now, we are seeing fewer landlords wanting to rent to housing benefit tenants because of cuts being made, the uncertainty with regards to Universal Credit and non-direct payment, particularly in the South-East where landlords could achieve far higher rent if they let to the private sector.”

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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