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Unbiased buy to let, property investment and letting coaching, mentoring, advice and seminars for landlords from top selling property author and media commentator.

Fraud on Below Market Value BMV property by Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com

Further to last weeks’ post about mortgage lenders, I see the Chelsea Building Society is the latest lender who was so dopey in buy to let lending that they got hit for a big fraud.
In the case of the Chelsea, a loss of about £41m has been taken as a result of mortgage frauds involving some of its buy-to-let loans. Ouch!
The frauds appear to have involved professionals colluding to inflate the value of buy-to-let properties. Crikey, Imagine that! (Excuse the cynicism.)
A team of people are now going through these cases individually to see if fraud has been committed.
“This could take some time,” said one of their spokesmen (in what must be the understatement of the year.)
Too bad the Chelsea did not read or bother to respond to my consulting letter of a few years ago offering to help them make a better fist of their buy to let mortgage lending.

New Scam – Duff Leads for Below Market Value Deals
Talking of scams, in property fraud is a bit like the poor …….always with us!
The combination of lack of FSA regulation, rapacious entrepenuers and gullible punters wanting to get rich quick makes for a deadly cocktail.
So no surprise that my friend Paul Shamplina at Landlord Action has recently reported that their debt recovery department has never been busier due to pursuing rogue property sourcing and investment companies.
Here is the scam.
What happens is that a Dodgy Property Entrepeneur asks for up an upfront fee to source Below Market Value deals.
The Punter hands over his cash and the leads are duly delivered.
The trouble is once surveyed for mortgage purposes the value of these properties is a whole lot less - making them not so much “Below Market Value” deals as “About Market Value” deals.
The Dodgy Property Entrepeneur then refuses to refund the fee the punter paid.
Pretty simple hey and it’s the latest scam in the world of property, so let’s think of a name for it. Let’s call it “The Bogus Discount Deal Scam.”
So remember, always do your own research into property values and rental levels and check the level of demand in the area.
And for goodness sake, research the sourcing company - how long have they been operating and what does it say on the Internet about them? Always read the terms and conditions and get a signed contract.
Not all property sourcing companies are bad. Just make sure you don’t hand money over to a duffer.
In next week’s blog, I promise I’ll get round to look at studentification and the latest barmy government plans to make student areas, nicer!
We are LettingFocus.com - the property experts.
I’m, David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book.
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I can tell you where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy, how to buy property at a low price, how to make sure you get tenants who are going to pay the rent and how to manage a rental property to make £s at my one to one consulting service.
I can also comment on “No Money Down” Schemes and “Buying Below Market Value” methods too.
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Using a Property Company to Source Property Deals? Ask Them If They Have an Open Forum Where You Can Assess Past Investors Experience

If you are investing through a property company or other third party who sources deals, why not ask if they have an open internet forum where past investors / members can freely post comments - and which you can read up on before deciding to invest.
Most property companies do not have one, so the would be investor has no way of knowing what other investors experience has been - apart from looking them up on the net to see if any negative press exists. And for some of the big property companies, there is a lot of negative press in the press and out there on the net.
Please let us know if you know of any companies that have an open forum for members -and we can post them up here. email [email protected]


LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.
Hello, I’m David Lawrenson.
I’ve been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and am author of “Successful Property Letting” – the UK’s top selling commercially published property book for the last 3 years.
Primarily, I work as a consultant to banks, local authorities, social housing providers and other organisations – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies and services.
I also write for property websites and am regularly quoted by the media.
I have written articles, guides and documents on letting property and property investing for numerous publications including The Independent, The Telegraph and for quality landlord and property websites.

Services for Private Landlords

For private landlords and other investors in the private rented sector, we do two London seminars each year.
We also find some spare time to help landlords and property investors by coaching them in how to make money in the private rented sector using ways that work, which are ethical, fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on either a one to one mentoring / coaching basis or through our occasional group seminars.
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