By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Private landlords continue to be stigmatised by the media

Changes to the buy-to-let tax regime are squeezing landlords’ margins, yet many are thinking about exiting the private rented sector not due to lower profits, but because of negative portrayals of landlords on TV.

Private landlords play a crucial role in providing homes to millions of people in this country, and yet two thirds of landlords say the bad name they are getting is making them question if it is worth continuing to rent out their properties.

Fresh research by MakeUrMove shows that that 65% of landlords feel that TV shows, such as ‘Landlords from Hell’ and ‘The Week The Landlord Moved In’, are providing the British public with a warped and unbalanced view of private landlords as a whole.


The study found that while most landlords agree it is justified to expose rogue operators in the sector, they believe more balance is required to show the bigger picture and represent landlords more fairly, rather than the “sensationalist” reporting that the media often portrays, especially in the “worst case scenarios”.

Research by the online letting agent reveals that most landlords have a good relationship with their tenants.

Alexandra Morris, managing director of MakeUrMove, commented: “These figures demonstrate that ‘rogue landlords’ are really in the minority, yet the portrayal in the media is leaving good, honest landlords feeling hugely undervalued.

“We’ve found that a majority of landlords are happy for their tenants to make changes to the property, with 71% allowing them to make alterations, and many also try to do the best for their tenants even if it impacts their margins, with 46% saying they will keep their tenants rents the same despite rising costs, which is the complete opposite of the TV image of landlords.

“With more than half of landlords also feeling the government afford them little to no value, it’s having a real impact on a vital part of the UK’s housing sector, risking crucial landlords leaving the market.”

In contrast to TV portrayals, many landlords have experienced problems with tenants, with almost half - 47% - having previously had to chase late rent payments

Morris added: “Given the heavily saturated nature of ‘rogue’ landlord TV programming, these findings may come as a surprise to many and hopefully provide a sense of perspective.

“TV paints a picture of nightmare landlords running amok in Britain, when in reality, the majority of landlords are genuine, hard-working people who want to maintain good relationships with their tenants.”

Want to comment on this story? Our focus is on providing a platform for you to share your insights and views and we welcome contributions.
If any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.
Please help us by reporting comments you consider to be unduly offensive so we can review and take action if necessary. Thank you.

Poll: Is it time the media - and the government - backed off and stopped bashing landlords?


  • James B

    Very accurate .. tenants pay the ultimate price for this endless propaganda

  •  G romit

    Rogue Landlords need to be drive out of the industry, and whilst it'll be impossible to get rid of 100% of them. The lip-service that the vast majority of Local Authorities pay to enforcement gives a free hand to the rogue operators to do as they wish with little fear of prosecution..

    Alternatively, the Government could actually encourage Landlords (yes I know this is an anathema to Government) to provide very many more rental properties, such that the rogues will have no Tenants to provide accommodation for, and will have to conform or exit. The Governments currently policies supported by the likes of Shelter are driving decent Landlords out of the market leaving Tenants with ........................

  • icon

    I met two total strangers recently - a mature couple. We got talking and I told them I was a landlord. The woman said 'We don't like landlords'. I hesitated before asking but felt I must ask ascertain why. She replied 'Because you always just keep putting up rents and don't maintain your properties'. I told her that this wasn't true and I do not keep putting up rents. Unbelievably she said 'Yes you do'. I had never met this woman before in my life and she felt she could comment in such a way shows just how the media affect people's perceptions. In fact it turned out they were Guardian readers! I'd add that I gave her both barrels and then her husband started on me so I reloaded and gave him some too. These 'lefties' think they're being clever by landlord bashing but are hypocritical enough to ignore the massive increases in homelessness as landlords leave the sector.

    Bill Wood

    If I had encountered these two, I would have explained that, in my 18 years as a landlord, now with 8 properties, I have put the rent up only once, from £700 to £750, and the tenant was absolutely delighted, as the 'going rate' was around £1000. But I don't suppose the couple would have believed me . . . .


    As it happens Bill I told the woman that I have had tenants for more than a decade and never seen a rent rise but they're now likely to experience it due to the Government landlord attacks that they support.

    The meeting we were at was actually a shareholder meeting for an EIS investment and I also explained to them that one of the reasons for putting money into this type of company were the tax concessions which I was offsetting against the increase due to S24. OK, it's a paperwork exercise but means I can still shield my tenants to some extent from rent rises.

    The woman went on about some 'friend' of theirs that had let her house when it had cockroaches in it. Her thinking appeared to be that if a 'friend' of hers is a bad landlord then they all must be. Her husband on the other hand, was saying what a bad lot we are because we were all going to sell up when the interest rates went up. Seems he'd swallowed a Carney pill or something. Sometimes it's hard to argue with people who don't have a real grasp of reality.

    • 07 August 2018 15:14 PM

    Some people are just brainwashed. And when you argue with them they drag you down to their level of 'conversation'. In the end I never say I'm a landlord as it's just going to provoke a reaction. We're up there with estate agents bankers and dangerous dogs.

  • icon

    no different to the media targeting the second hand car dealers, builders, even solicitors ripping the public off, rise above it, we still have these people queuing up begging us to rent a property to them. for every one bad landlord there are 10+ bad tenants.

  • icon

    Sticks and stones! I know I'm a good landlord. More importantly my tenants know it too. Even more importantly I am now a rich landlord mainly due to market forces brought about by shortage of rental properties exacerbated by the lefties and gutter press. To both groups my heartfelt thanks. Keep it up!

    • 07 August 2018 15:16 PM

    Good attitude Robert and I agree.

  • Bill Wood

    Whenever someone asks what I do, I can avoid any problems of this nature by saying, truthfully, that I'm a computer engineer. Everyone loves a computer engineer. Especially if they have a computer problem.


    My computer breaks. Do I blame computer engineers for not making better computers? No. I'm just happy they're available to fix it at high (if market) costs. My fancy new phone makes a huge profit for the world's richest company. Do I resent this? No. I'm actually perversely pleased to show other geeks I can afford this type of rip off.
    I need somewhere to live locally. Do I thank Landlords for providing high quality local accommodation at market rents? Anyone see the disconnected thinking here? BTW - the I here is not me but unfortunately is not just a figment of my imagination!

  • icon

    The worst offenders when it comes to lack of maintenance etc, are Housing Associations and not private landlords.
    They are also not subject to the Rent Smart Wales debacle we have here and we hear a lot locally about how tenant's houses are damp etc and nothing is ever done about it.
    They give us private landlords a bad name, as we have to keep our properties in good condition because we are 'on the radar' so to speak.
    Of course, the so-called 'rogue landlords' are never going to register their properties until they are caught out, as many are not declaring the income that they receive to the HMRC.

    • 07 August 2018 18:02 PM

    All so true

  • icon

    The councils being the UKs biggest landlords are also one of the worst. They apply rules and regs to us Portfolio landlords yet fail to adopt them themselves


    That's true and in my area though, the responsibility for providing housing has been handed over by the council to a not-for-profit organisation, who are not subject to the rules laid down by Rent Smart Wales.
    Unfortunately, this organisation (Rent Smart wales) recently issued a consultation outlining a further 26 new regulations to be imposed on landlords.
    Socialism at its controlling best?


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up