BTL investors don't want to be called 'Landlords'

Steve Lumley·11 January 2022·5 min read
BTL investors don't want to be called 'Landlords'

Most buy to let investors say they don't want to be called landlords because the term is dated, research reveals.

The findings come from a survey carried out by Mortgages for Business, the mortgage intermediary, which found that 59% of investors say they want to stop being referred to as landlords.

Instead, 43% of respondents said they would prefer to be known as 'small housing providers'.

The survey highlighted that 21% would prefer another option, including 'rental accommodation provider', while 36% of respondents said they were happy to be called landlords.

'Community does not want to be associated with the term 'landlord''

The managing director of Mortgages for Business, Gavin Richardson, said: "Sections of the media have vilified the BTL community. It's got to the point where the community does not want to be associated anymore with the term 'landlord'."

He added: "The term carries baggage and it's no wonder the community is wanting a rebrand."

The survey also found that 73% of investors say they feel they are 'unfairly portrayed' as the 'financial bogeyman' of the generation.

Just 8% of landlords said they do not feel as if they are financial bogeyman, while the remainder said that the notoriety of being a landlord may not be 'unwarranted'.

'Government is profiting from Generation Rent'

Mr Richardson said: "Most landlords are paying 40% tax on rental income, plus stamp duty, which means the government is profiting from Generation Rent."

He added that landlords have been 'hammered' over the last five years, including tax deterrents and the 3% stamp duty surcharge.

He says this has done little for first-time buyers and points to research from Nationwide that highlights that a first-time buyer now needs to save 113% of their annual salary for a 20% home deposit.

Mr Richardson asked: "If we take landlords out of the housing equation, what would happen? The property market impact would be significant and entirely negative.

"It's not as if the government is pouring money into social housing or making progress on house building and, frankly, the government should champion landlords and their contribution to the housing sector - it's landlords who are bailing the government out!"

Employees are facing poverty in their old age

Mr Richardson also highlights that two-thirds of employees who are aged over 45 are facing poverty in their old age, unless they act to boost their pension.

He says that people are encouraged to save for their retirement but when people invest in property to build a nest egg to ensure they have a retirement income, they are then 'reviled'.

The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon Thompson, said: "It should come as no surprise to anybody in the private rented sector that landlords don't always get the best press.

"That's a shame, and as we highlight regularly, most landlords offer quality accommodation and strive to deliver an excellent service.

“There are just a few rogue landlords who undermine these efforts but that doesn't mean we should lose sight of the fact that most landlords are respected by tenants - as regular surveys highlight."

PRS landlords should not be 'demonised'

The comments from the managing director of Mortgages for Business, come at the same time as the chief executive of DJ Alexander Scotland, David Alexander, said that PRS landlords should not be 'demonised'.

He says that demonising the private rented sector will only help to exacerbate the housing problems in Scotland and he wants less rhetoric in 2022 from legislators.

Mr Alexander says that the antagonistic approach is undermining the service provided by housing landlords and the crucial role they play in housing hundreds of thousands of tenants.

He is now calling for greater cooperation and constructive dialogue as part of a meaningful debate about how the private rented sector can move forward to meet the population's housing needs.

Housing Hand makes it easier for students to rent

Meanwhile, the rental guarantor service Housing Hand has unveiled a partnership with Kexgill, the student accommodation provider.

This new tie-up sees Housing Hand becoming its preferred guarantor so any student wanting to live in a Kexgill property can use Housing Hand as their rent guarantor.

The move will see overseas students now able to sign up to a Kexgill student home and be able to pay their rent monthly, rather than upfront.

Kexgill's head of marketing, Antony Worswick, said: "Kexgill has a tradition of challenging the status quo when it comes to student housing, and we've been driving up standards since 1978 in the sector."

The student accommodation provider delivers 3,000 beds through a mix of apartments, halls of residence and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in cities across the north of England including Hull, Liverpool, Salford and Bradford.