Advertisement
Housing

Landlords want to rebrand as ‘small housing providers’ because they feel ‘vilified’

Landlords say they are unfairly portrayed as “financial bogeymen” but campaign group Generation Rent scoffed at the idea they should instead be referred to as “housing providers”.

Landlords want to rebrand themselves as ‘small housing providers’ in the face of negative press, a new survey has found.

The term landlord carries “much more baggage than it once did”, and over half surveyed by Mortgages for Business want to drop it.

And three quarters said they were unfairly painted as “financial bogeymen”.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

Support us

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy director of Generation Rent, said the idea of landlords as housing providers was ludicrous.

He told The Big Issue: “For people relying on Universal Credit and struggling to find anyone who will rent them a home, the idea of landlords as housing providers will come as a joke.”

Gavin Richardson, managing director of Mortgages for Business told Landlord Today the findings showed how much landlords had been unfairly treated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Big Issue Foundation
Your gift today will connect individuals living in poverty to the vital resources, services and opportunities needed to begin their journey to a new future. You will be supporting individuals in key areas including housing, finance, mental health and employment.

Richardson said: “Sections of the media have vilified the buy-to-let community. The government has hammered them – think Theresa May’s three per cent Stamp Duty surcharge and other tax deterrents.”

He continued: “What would happen if we took landlords out of the housing equation? The impact on the property market would be significant and almost entirely negative.

“It’s not as if the government is pouring money into social housing – or making any progress on house building.”

Over half – 59 per cent – of survey respondents said the term ‘landlord’ was outdated, and just 36 per cent said they wanted to keep the term.

Article continues below

‘Small housing provider’ was the preferred term of 43 per cent, while ‘Rental Accommodation Provider’ was chosen by seven per cent.

Richardson added that buy-to-let investments were a prudent way to invest for retirement, pointing out that millions are facing poverty in retirement as a result of not saving enough.

He said: “It is regularly drummed into us that we need to invest for a comfortable retirement. And yet, when people start building a nest-egg – investing in property to try to ensure they have an income for their retirement – they are reviled.” 

Tenants amassed £360 million in rent arrears during the pandemic – with The Big Issue’s Stop Mass Homelessness campaign revealing that the failure to fix this could cost the government £2 billion.

And in November it was revealed that 25,000 tenants had been handed section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction notices by landlords since Theresa May vowed to scrap them.

Wilson Craw added that landlords are not essential to the provision of housing.

He said: “Landlords like to think of themselves as ‘housing providers’ but their involvement in providing homes is incidental. If landlords weren’t in the picture, their properties would still exist, many of which previously accommodated people as owner occupiers or council tenants, without a private landlord’s involvement.

“Ultimately, if we want our economy to provide more housing, we shouldn’t be encouraging more people to become landlords and buy up existing houses: we have to get more new homes built.”

Advertisement

Every copy counts this Christmas

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

Recommended for you

Read All
Black and minoritised ethnic communities at disproportionate risk of homelessness in the UK
Homelessness

Black and minoritised ethnic communities at disproportionate risk of homelessness in the UK

How many empty homes are there in the UK?
Housing

How many empty homes are there in the UK?

The number of people sleeping rough in England could be double the official count
Homelessness

The number of people sleeping rough in England could be double the official count

Awaab Ishak: Why Rochdale toddler's death is being described as a 'defining moment'
Social housing

Awaab Ishak: Why Rochdale toddler's death is being described as a 'defining moment'

Most Popular

Read All
Here's when and where nurses are going on strike
1.

Here's when and where nurses are going on strike

Pattie Boyd: 'I was with The Beatles and everything was fabulous'
2.

Pattie Boyd: 'I was with The Beatles and everything was fabulous'

Here's when people will get the additional cost of living payment
3.

Here's when people will get the additional cost of living payment

Why do people hate Matt Hancock? Oh, let us count the ways
4.

Why do people hate Matt Hancock? Oh, let us count the ways