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The Demise of Buy-to-Let Giant Inside Track

 

Britain’s biggest property investment company, Inside Track, has gone into administration. The company that promised to turn a generation of Britons into “property millionaires” fell victim to a combination of a series of property price falls and the ongoing mortgage crunch.

 

The company’s business model was based on selling property seminars on which potential buy-to-let investors would be encouraged to purchase off-plan developments both in the UK and abroad from one of Inside Track’s sister companies.  It seemed to be working as the company listed profits of £12m, £10.8m and £6.9m in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively.

 

Inside Track epitomized the buy-to-let boom of recent years with its high profile advertising for property courses that promised to lead to riches. A statement from the company read: “Due to the continuing sustained difficulties arising from the credit crunch Inside Track has been placed into administration.”

In reality the company has been in trouble for some time. Its whole strategy was based on property prices continuing to rise and the easy availability of buy-to-let mortgages. However, with a glut of new-build flats in UK town centres, resale values dropping, rents not meeting expectations and investors receiving lukewarm receptions from lenders for this type of property, things had been going sour since 2005.

 

A number of Inside Track customers have threatened to sue the company after losing thousands of pounds on failed investments. A large number found themselves in negative equity as mortgage payments outstripped rental yields. The company enticed these would-be buy-to-let entrepreneurs with free workshops where they were encouraged to sign up for weekend courses, costing as much as £2,500. On these courses the customers were given the hard-sell to buy new-build off-plan property at a “discount” price. To invest they had to pay a further fee of up to £10,000 and a subscription fee.

The administrator, Vantis, confirmed that only Inside Track Seminars Limited had gone into administration and no other companies within the Inside Access properties structure were affected. The company has three other arms; mortgage brokers Fuel, property agents Instant Access Properties and a management/support wing AfterCare solutions,

 

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Inside Track: Still alive and kicking on the web

 

A 58 year-old music teacher, Brenda Davies, who was interviewed for the Mail on Sunday claims she lost over £100,000 with Inside Track. First of all she spent £2,495 on a two-day seminar. Then she paid £6,000 to join Inside Track’s Platinum Club. On that first weekend she put down deposits on properties in Florida and Spain and following the company’s advice bought flats in Beeston, Nottingham and Turnberry in Ayrshire. The properties did not produce anything like the rental yield expected and after much protestation, they were sold; one for what she paid for it and the other at a £30,000 loss. Brenda was also given the deposits back on the properties that she hadn’t completed on. Mortgage shortfalls, capital loss and fees paid to Inside Track and other companies totalled over £100,000.

 

Recommended by Inside Track: Flats inside the old Hacienda nightclub building in Manchester

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Have you had an experience of Inside Track that you would like to share with us? Are they really ripping people off, or are they genuinely giving smart operators the chance to make some good investments? contact us to have your say on this page.