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.”