Archive | October, 2010

Repossessed House Requiring Modernisation – A Full Scale Property Refurbishment!

29 Oct

Today I went to see a repossessed house in Stoke on Trent which was listed as requiring modernisation.  Now the description “modernisation” can mean many things. I have seen houses where the property needs no more than a lick of paint to a property which requires a full scale rebuild….

The property I saw had not been lived in for a while. It was dirty, damp and full of unwanted belongings which were piled in the rooms:

I would definitely need a skip and some strong men to help me move all the junk from the property!

Although – the junk was the least of the issues as there was the small fact that some of the ceilings had collapsed and were now on the floor and covering the kitchen units:

And then as I entered the rear bedroom of the property I realised I had a rather larger problem as I walked across roof tiles…which were piled over the floors

And, of course, when I looked up I was not surprised to see the roof was missing!

Landlords – How to Get a Bargain Buy-To-Let in London

26 Oct

Today I went to South London as I had seen a flat up for sale with views of the common. It sounded like it would be an ideal buy to let in London with a yield of 9%. It was a 1 bed in tidy condition – but the same could not be said of the communal areas.

Firstly – graffiti INSIDE the building is never a good sign…

Plus the amount of knocks and scrapes on the wall makes you wonder what goes on in here:

The building did not feel safe at all – which is probably why they have these huge barbed wire type fencing:

And is it any wonder in a high rise like this?

But the icing on the cake….and I just loved this….This is just so original and authentic 1970s…

Prepare to feast your eyes:

Carpeted walls!!!!  Now that has got to be a bargain for such retro originality 🙂

The Bailiffs are Coming to Repossess the House….

18 Oct

Today was a relaxing day – well until 9pm.

Then I get a call from a distressed tenant who has come home to open a letter from the court – the bailiffs are coming to repossess the house in 10 days time.

I am suddenly not relaxed any more.

“Sorry, what did you say – get the letter and read it to me” I ask

“It’s from the court, it says the court has issued a warrant for the property and that bailiffs will be attending on X day at 11.45am and will repossess the property and any belongings within it”

“Right” I say trying to sound professional and calm. But, inside I am gobsmacked. This is a property which is owned by a landlord who has been with us for quite a long time. This is not something I had expected – he had only put new carpets in the property 7 months ago – are those the actions of a landlord who is struggling to pay the mortgage?

“OK read exactly to me the reference numbers, telephone numbers and everything else on the letter” I ask

The tenant reads me everything and I write everything down.

It is now 9.30pm on a Sunday night. But, I cannot wait I have to call the landlord to find out what is going on. If this is true, we have only days to try and re-house the tenants.  I cannot risk them being in the property when the bailiffs come or that any of their belongings may get caught up in this mess.

I call the landlord – we’ll call him John.

I start ringing and after 3 rings John picks up

“John, it’s Sam from Gorgeous Homes, I’m sorry to call you so late but I have a rather urgent matter which your tenants have just called me about”

“OK” he replies

“They have called me because they have received a letter from the court that the house is being repossessed and a warrant date for the bailiffs has been set 10 days from now”

“There must be some mistake” he replies “they should’ve recieved the money by now”

He is calm and collected. I try and work out from his tone and reaction if this is a mistake – and if this will be sorted. But it is difficult to tell. In a way he is too calm – I can’t work out if it is resigned calmness – that he has been expecting this call from me any day now.  Or maybe he is calm because he knows it’s a mistake which he can sort.

We talk a little more – he asks if any other post had arrived for him, because if they had been trying to get hold of him then maybe he would not know about it.

I reply that I will get the tenants to check if any other mail has come for him and to dig it out.

I recount all the details from the letter and he assures me that he will call them first thing in the morning and sort it out.

I ask him to call me when he knows and I urge him to be honest with me. I say to him:

“Shit happens, but please just be honest with me so I can at least get these tenants sorted out and re-housed if necessary”

He assures me he will…now time will tell what will happen


Landlord has called me to assure me all is a huge mistake and the bank have messed up the reference numbers and all will be OK

Tenant has called since then to say he has spoken to the court and the repossession is still going ahead.

I have called the court to be told no application to suspend has been recieved and the repossession order is still going ahead

I have called the landlord who has told me it will take the bank a couple of days to get the necessary paperwork across to the court to lift the repossession order.

I have spoken to the tenant who, while understanding that this now appears to be a big mix up, is obviously worried given the imminent date of eviction and has organised to view our available properties tomorrow.

He has also gone through all the mail and no other letters have been recieved for the landlord.  Which is odd – why have no other letters not been sent to the landlord at the address?

Landlord has told me all should be OK by Thursday….in the meantime we have a back up plan in case plan A does not come off!

Fingers crossed for all concerned that this has been a mix up!


I am pleased to say this does appear to have been an almighty mix up. I have phoned the courts and they have advised me that the bank have told them the action has been withdrawn and the property will not be repossessed. The court have also emailed confirmation:

Dear Sir or madam

I can confirm that the eviction due to take place on X October 2010 at 11.45 am at X has been cancelled, this is because we have today received a request from the Claimant’s solicitors to withdraw the warrant.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the post-judgment section at this Court.


I have also spoken to the landlord who is still so calm and collected – but as he assured me if he had time to get wound up and feel hard done by – he would – but right now he is just too busy with work!

I am pleased to report a good result on this – but this has been a wake up call!

How to lose Facebook friends and alienate people using Social Media

14 Oct

Today I thought it would be nice to start a facebook group for What Sam Saw Today – Confessions of a Property Developer

I thought it would be fun to have a group on facebook and for maybe some other people to share their confessions…

And so I spent ages trying to work out how you create a group – I haven’t got as far as filling in what sort of group it is, or contact details or anything like that as frankly I haven’t got a clue! I see other people have got these bits filled in so I figured I would call a friend later to find out what I am meant to do…

In the meantime I thought I should invite some people to join the group – so I looked at my friends list and pressed the “Invite people” button or so I thought…

It was only after several hundred “invites” later that I had a post on my wall:

“How have you added me to a group that I haven’t requested to join?”

I was stunned…Frankly I didn’t have a clue

And so I had to answer the honest truth

“I am sorry I don’t know how I added you – I thought I was inviting you”

To which she replied that it had happened to her last week and it was a site which was, shall we say, “unsavoury”

Now I don’t really think my group or my site is “unsavoury” there may be some flipping ugly houses and terrible decor but that’s about it!

Anyhow my first post to the group has now had to be a rather shameful apology – not really the best start for my facebook group!

And so I have no idea what I have done, I seemed to have added people when I thought I was inviting them…

So if I have added you to my facebook group – please don’t think ill of me – I thought I was inviting you 🙂

Bulldozing in Bournemouth? How to make the most of that plot!

12 Oct

Today I was in Bournemouth looking at a beautiful Edwardian Gentlemen’s residence – it was a gorgeous building with parking at the front, a lovely garden and tree top views.

Inside it had great proportions and some lovely features.  OK, so it was dated and had been used as a rooming house for years but it had a lovely grand feel

Unfortunately, the sums didn’t stack to turn it back into one family house.  Nor did they stack as a conversion project.  BUT they did stack as a bulldoze and start again project.  Just like the neighbouring block of flats which had been done some years previously:

However – planning has tightened since then and it’s difficult to get such high density without the necessary amenity space (car parking etc).  The planners were not keen at all….although they were accepting that the house could be replaced with an increased number of units.

Sadly the bank were even less keen – since the new build flat fiasco their lending criteria for projects like this make it almost impossible to finance.

The Edwardian house lives another day – I can’t raise the finance to replace it with my vision of Bournemouth town centre living!