The landlord whose gamble didn’t pay off

Published: 05/07/2013

While the judges on The Voice can often be surprised at the blind auditions, one landlord definitely got more than he bargained for after buying a property at a blind auction.

Mehmet Koch believed he had bagged a bargain when he and his brother bought a four-storey property in Finsbury Park, North London for £450,000.

However in addition to the property he also acquired 40 years-worth of hoarded rubbish including piles of old clothes, toys and books which figured in every room, sometimes reaching 5ft high.

How can this happen?

The 33-year-old landlord made the crucial mistake of buying the property after only viewing the outside of the building. For now obvious reasons the owners refused to let him inside.

“I thought I was having a nightmare,” said Mr Koch. “I have never seen anything like this before.

“We just saw it and thought, how are we going to clean this up? We just felt sorry for the people who lived here at first. I mean, how could anyone live like this in the 21st century? There was no running water, no electricity and no gas.”

The property had been inhabited by an elderly couple since the 1960s.

When bargains turn bad

Buying a property at auction can be a great way to ‘bag a bargain’ so it’s understandable why landlords and property developers regularly hit the auction houses,” comments GW LET Solicitor, Rob Denman, “but this type of property can certainly come with its fair share of baggage.

“As with any property purchase a viewing is an essential part of the buying process, as is a survey. If the seller refuses entry to the property then it’s a fair assumption to think something is afoot!

“Anyone buying a property at auction should thoroughly research the property before bidding, not only to assess its current state but also to see if there are any existing tenants residing there and, if so, what tenancy agreement they are on as this could affect a landlord’s ability to gain possession of the property.

“All this information is usually available within the legal pack provided by the auction house. Alternatively landlords can contact GW LET for legal help and advice.”

Mortgages for auction property

When buying a property at auction, you often require a faster turnaround time than mainstream mortgage lenders can provide. As a result many landlords and property developers take out bridging finance, or a short term secured loan, to finance the initial purchase within the deadline.

Bridging is a highly specialised area of laws and while many solicitors profess to offer these services, few are experienced enough to do so. In fact most bridging transactions which collapse are because the solicitor is ill equipped to deal with bridging cases.

Goldsmith Williams however is highly experienced in this specialism and can help ensure your transactions goes through as smoothly as possible.

Content correct at time of publication

Show All Articles