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Interview of Landlord Today Team
Written by the Landlord Today team
60 Second Interview with Paul Wootton, The Landlord Works

Who are you and what does it say on your business card?

I’m Paul Wootton, Director of The Landlord Works, a new platform launched by Nationwide Building Society offering support for all UK landlords.

How has your company supported landlords during Covid-19?

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It was a busy time for us during the early months of the pandemic, particularly during the lockdowns, as so much was changing for landlords. At Nationwide, we have continued to support landlords throughout the pandemic, including through the introduction of The Landlord Works and our digital portfolio management. We have also provided landlords with regular updates to ensure they were on top of their changing responsibilities and legal obligations.

On top of that, The Mortgage Works (TMW), the buy to let mortgage lender of Nationwide, also supported landlords through the introduction of payment holidays as well as continuing to help them with their borrowing needs.

Nationwide and TMW have also consistently been part of industry campaigns over the last 12 to 18 months led by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) to secure extra funding for tenants struggling to pay their rents or who are in rent arrears.

How important is it for landlords to strive for the highest standards?

Everyone should feel safe in their homes, that should be an absolute non-negotiable. I think it’s worth acknowledging just how many landlords already strive for the highest standards. In the work we’ve done, we’ve spent time speaking to landlords who are extremely passionate about their properties and their tenants. And that’s something we continue to get behind by simplifying landlord responsibilities, introducing digital tools to manage their portfolios in one place.

Can you tell us more about The Landlord Works?

The Landlord Works was built with simplicity in mind. We offer a suite of education and resources to simplify landlord responsibilities and legal obligations. We also provide a portfolio management tool which allows landlords to set reminders for key compliance deadlines, manage all of their property related finances, measure their profit and losses, and also gain discounted access to GoSimpleTax - allowing landlords to complete their tax returns online.

This is just the beginning of the journey for The Landlord Works as we’re constantly speaking with landlords to provide the very best value and adapt to the changing needs of the industry. We aim to provide a full suite of support and services for the landlords across the country and provide them with the comfort that a trusted brand is fully behind it.

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What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?

Bringing The Landlord Works to market is a key highlight for the team. In many respects, the creation of this new platform introduced some new ways of working for the business and really showcased the value of a test and learn approach. We’ve learned so much about landlords, their needs, their appetite for digital tooling and have been able to build a product with all of this feedback in mind.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

Seeing the number of landlords using The Landlord Works increase on a daily basis and reading their emails to us thanking us for the product. This is when it all pays off.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the rental market at the moment?

One of the challenges the market is facing, particularly from conversations we’ve had with landlords, is uncertainty in the face of changing regulations. We could see changes clarified this year when the government releases its white paper and then we can move to support landlords in following their new obligations.

What do you see happening in the rental market in 2022?

This year will see a raft of government announcements that will impact the rental sector covering things such as minimum EPC requirements, the abolition of Section 21 and reform of the deposit process.

We welcome these announcements but government needs to understand the impact on landlords and their businesses as these changes are implemented. Nationwide will continue to work with them throughout the year to achieve this.

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Country house or city apartment?

I think I’d have to go for a country house as there’s much more room for the kids to enjoy.

Trendy roof terrace or traditional English garden?

Who could go wrong with a traditional English garden? I feel I have the best of both worlds, as I’m Bristol based, I have the luxury of a little more greenery - and then when I visit the team in London, I’m met with a pretty impressive roof terrace at our office.

Would you rather be a free-moving tenant or settled owner-occupier?

I’ve definitely been both in my life. I’m grateful for the property I own and the home we’ve been able to create as a family. Depending on who you ask, I’ve also developed a few lockdown renovation skills.

What is your favourite room in your home?

At the beginning of lockdown one I reclaimed the spare room as my office and have steadily made it my own – it’s now most definitely my happy place.

Homes under the Hammer or Location, Location, Location?

Homes under the Hammer. Martin Roberts is great, and I love seeing properties reach their potential.

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