House swap landlord goes from riches to rats in Milton Keynes

A multi-millionaire landlord was watched by millions as he swapped homes with his tenant in a '˜rat-infested' city property.

Forty-year-old Paul Preston starred in the first episode of BBC’s The Week the Landlords Moved In.

He quit his luxury apartment to take up residence in a room in one of his own multi occupancy houses on an MK estate.

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Described by tenant Hayley as “disgusting”, the house had mould growing up the walls, rattling windows and grubby flooring.

It also had extra tenants - a family of rats living outside and even climbing up the drainpipes!

Paul, who made his fortune out of property management, referred to the rats as “furry friends” and said: “It’s something that happens in built up areas.”

He admitted to splashing out £1,500 a week on his girlfriend, who he calls Queen P due to her expensive tastes.

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The HMO in MK, which brings in around £2,500 in rent, is one 100 similar prerties owned by Paul.

But after living in the property, he realised managing a home was about more than making money.

“I think we’ve been looking at the functionality of these houses but we should be focusing on these properties and homes rather than just places to live in,” he said.

Hayley had said at the start of the programme: “This house does not feel like a home. To be honest I don’t think my landlord considers us. Probably only sees it as if the room is vacant or full.”

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Paul was working as a £6 an hour cleaner before he made his fortune in property management.

He lost his first business during the recession and then decided to make ends meet by renting out rooms in his own five bedroom house.

He said: “That was the light bulb moment. I probably stumbled across the solution. Not because I thought I was a clever investor, but because I was desperate.”

Today he runs property success forums.