The father of a former soldier Danny Butcher (pictured, above), who killed himself after signing up to a ‘property investment’ coaching course has called for the sector to be regulated. He failed to get a bricks-and-mortar investment business off the ground.
Alan Butcher has launched a change.org petition that has already been signed by 650 people asking the government to regulate the ‘wealth creation/property training’ industry.
Some action has already been taken. An industry accreditation scheme, The Property Investors Bureau, is in the process of being set up with support from Landlord Action’s Paul Shamplina, and will offer a redress scheme backed by the PRS.
Until then, anyone can set themselves up as a property investment trainer without the need for any qualifications or oversight.
This lack of regulation despite the high costs of completing the courses, has “created an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to run rampant”, says Alan.
His son’s case featured on Monday’s BBC Inside Out programme about Property Investors, which charged Danny £13,000 to attend its ‘property academy’ course.
The company claims to be the largest of its kind in the UK and is fronted by former illusionist Samuel Leeds. He says those attending both his free and paid-for courses are warned not to get into debt when paying for them.
Despite attending the course, Danny was unable to get a property business off the ground and, after failing to win a refund from Property Investors, took his own life.
“The only thing I can do for Danny is to try and make people aware so they don’t end up wasting their money and putting themselves in a bad place,” his father told the BBC.
“If it does that, what’s a meaningless loss of life won’t be quite so meaningless.”