Unfortunately, along with Bankers and Estate Agents, Landlords get quite a lot of ‘stiff’ in the media about being ‘greedy and selfish’. Why I say ‘media’ is because it’s the sites like ‘The Guardian’ (property sections) where they love to just gun down landlords and show the worst landlords in the area, how they do not repair mould, how they do not fix anything, how they do not give two hoots about their tenants and only care about the money. And then when the landlord has had enough, they go and evict the tenant (this is ofcourse the tenant’s stories).
They generalise it all, and make it seem that all landlords are the same. Just as they make it seem that all Agents are the same. As if, we are all bad people!
On top of that, if you are a landlord in Croydon, you will have just been hit with the Croydon Private Rented Licence fee, at the healthy sum of £350 – £750 per unit. Feels like the council do not have faith in us either!
A long term landlord, Michael, came into the office for a quick chat about this. Having worked with us for a while, we knew how he works, and it is to the book. All of Michael’s properties are well cared for, the tenants are well cared for, the HMO properties have all the regulations met and in place, the smaller properties are all up to scratch with the latest codes.
So why should he fall into the same hole as the ‘rogue / bad landlords’.
Well, he shouldn’t, however, the truth of it is, he does, and it affects him.
After a good debate, I explained to Michael that the ‘press’ would not exist if it was all good news.
People do not like reading about the good stuff. Which is why I stopped watching the news and reading the papers a long time ago. It’s all negative, shit. Excuse my language, but it is. Utter rubbish.
So, while it is quite hard to escape the grips of the papers and media, my view (and that is all it is), is that you should not let it affect you in any way possible. The most important thing you can do is be good to your tenants (they will return the goodwill), and keep up to scratch with the laws and regulations, and use a good agent who knows what they are talking about!
To answer the question in a blunt way,
No, you are not a bad person in the slightest for being a landlord, even if the media generalises you as one.
Here are a few stats for you.
According to the survey of more than 1,760 landlords, some 56 per cent had had to evict tenants from their properties. Almost 90% reported that they had carried out evictions for rent arrears, with another 43% for anti-social behaviour, nearly 40% for damage to the property and 20% for drug-related activity.
Just under 30% wanted to regain possession of the property, for example because they needed to sell it for personal reasons. This is showing that landlords, statically – on the whole – are not evicting tenants for no reason.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, you can comment below.