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Landlords too embarrassed to admit it because of ‘stigma attached’

Let's face it - landlords have a bad reputation. The press often portray buy-to-let landlords as greedy money-grabbers who are looking to take advantage of tenants, and although that reputation is generally not merited, it would seem that more than a fifth of landlords are too embarrassed to admit it because there is a “stigma” attached, according to a survey.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) polled 800 of its members across the UK and found 21% reporting they are uncomfortable admitting that they are a landlord, largely due to the negative stories about the minority of rogue landlords that give good landlords a bad name. 

One high-profile story recently revealed that no fewer than 31 people were found to be living in cramped and filthy conditions in a four bedroom house in north-west London, while another revealed that 24 people, including 10 young children, had been crammed in a rental property suitable for just seven inhabitants; the truth is that there are too many horror stories of this nature.


“The number of people looking to invest in property is rising all the time yet the stigma attached to being a landlord never seems to diminish,” said Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA.

“It’s the minority of rogues and criminal landlords that make the headlines, and this has a negative impact on everyone else. The majority of landlords are hardworking individuals who put their own money into providing homes for others, and they should not be ashamed to say so.”

But despite the bad press, Lambert was keen to stress that the majority of tenants are satisfied with their current landlord and tenancy, as reflected by the findings from the NLA’s latest research.

He added: “The majority of landlords are hardworking individuals who put their own money into providing homes for others, and they should not be ashamed to say so.”

Across the UK, more landlords in the East of England and the East Midlands said they were embarrassed to admit it compared to any other region, at 29% and 28% respectively.

At the other end of the scale, the English regions with the fewest embarrassed landlords were the South East and Yorkshire and Humber at 18%.

Just 13% of landlords in Scotland said they had been too embarrassed to admit it before – the lowest across the UK. 

Here is the full regional breakdown: 


% Embarrassed



East of England


East Midlands




North East


North West




South East


South West




West Midlands


Yorkshire and Humber



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  • Paul Knox

    Oh so true, I "manage property" rather than be a landlord

  • Claire  Empson

    Yep - at a party I am a former graphic designer now "in property" much more acceptable / interesting


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