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Landlords call for balanced view of buy-to-let on TV

Wednesday 08 August 2018

Sensationalised TV shows are giving landlords a bad name – and it’s time for a change.

Fresh research by MakeUrMove shows that that 65 per cent of landlords feel that shows such as ‘Landlords from Hell’ and ‘The Week The Landlord Moved In’ give a warped and unbalanced view of private landlords – despite the crucial role they play in providing homes to millions of people.

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.

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

Alexandra Morris, managing director of MakeUrMove, said: “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 per cent allowing them to make alterations, and many also try to do the best for their tenants even if it impacts their margins, with 46 per cent 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.”

Many landlords have experienced problems with tenants, with almost half - 47 per cent - having previously had to chase late rent payments. While the good news is that only 0.5 per cent of landlords will have to go on to pursue an eviction, research from Simlple Landlords Insurance found rent arrears are a real fear for many landlords, with an eviction taking an average of 16 weeks through the courts, and costing £3,431.22 in legal fees and lost rent.

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.”

That’s certainly the experience here at Simple. Head of Operations, Richard Truman, added: “The landlords we see are responsible, engaged, and knowledgeable, and they know looking after their tenants means tenants who end up looking after their properties. Increasingly, we’re seeing landlords embracing the professionalisation of the sector through regulation and licensing to help weed out the bad apples, and improve the private rental sector for everyone,”

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