The overwhelming majority of UK landlords are fair, friendly, and downright decent. But that doesn’t seem to stop some people from thinking the worst.
A quick look at the most searched questions about landlords doesn’t make for easy reading. So what do these autocomplete suggestions tell us about how some people view landlords?
- Guide to the different types of tenancy agreements in the UK
- How to evict a tenant – a guide to staying legal
- What is a DSS tenant? What landlords need to know about renting to tenants on benefits
- What type of landlord insurance do I need?
1. Why are landlords so rude?
Ouch. We’ll get the nasty ones out of the way first. But not only are these stereotypes unpleasant, they’re also inaccurate. Most landlords enjoy a good relationship with their tenants, and we shouldn’t forget that those who have had experiences with “rude” landlords have often given them good reason to be rather more blunt than usual.
2. Why are landlords so greedy?
Another perception that’s wholly inaccurate. With all the tax changes that landlords have had to contend with, and the natural rate of inflation, many landlords have to raise rents in order to maintain profitability.
But at the same time, it’s costing more and more to maintain a good rental property, and many landlords use a lot of their earnings to keep their properties in good order.
3. Why are landlords so mean?
Again, isn’t this a bit harsh? Whether it’s raising rents or asking tenants to keep properties in good working order – this isn’t mean, it’s a landlord’s job.
4. Why are landlords so cheap?
Seriously? Step into a landlord’s shoes and you’ll realise this is anything but the case. Whether it’s refurnishing, fixing broken appliances, or accepting less than market-rate for rent, landlords are often forced to put their hands in their pocket – and at short notice.
5. Why are landlords so against pets?
Well, not all landlords are against pets in their rental property. In fact, in a Simply Business poll 68 per cent of landlords said they’d consider allowing pets in their property.
But there are plenty of understandable reasons why landlords might not want tenants to keep pets in their property. Damage to fixtures and fittings, unpleasant smells. The list goes on.
It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that tenants are actually willing to pay more if they’re allowed to keep their furry friends. Check out our article on the pros and cons of renting to tenants with pets if you’re thinking of making the switch.
6. Can landlords charge an admin fee?
Yes and no. At the moment they can, but the ban on letting agent fees will impact landlords, too, if they’re the ones who do the admin work.
However, the earliest it will come into force is 2019, so for the rest of the year, at least, the answer is yes.
7. Can landlords let themselves in?
The answer is no – it’s illegal for landlords to let themselves into a property without giving notice and a reason. However, it’s understandable (and good practice) that from time to time you’ll want to check on your property. Just give a bit of prior notice, as you probably already do.
8. Can landlords refuse pets?
Ah, the question of pets raises its head again. Of course landlords are within their rights to refuse to allow pets in their property, but given how many tenants are desperate to keep them, it’s certainly an option worth considering.
9. Can landlords put rent up?
It’s a little worrying that tenants might not realise you’re well within your rights to raise rents whenever you renew their tenancy. As your costs grow, and profitability becomes harder, raising rent from time to time can be essential.
10. Can landlords deduct mortgage interest?
Finally, a sensible question!
Unfortunately, the government are in the process of discontinuing mortgage interest tax relief. By 2020 landlords will only be able to claim back basic rate tax on their mortgage payments.
11. Are landlords considered self-employed?
This depends who you ask. Many landlords have day jobs that they would call their main source of income, but according to HMRC, landlords are self-employed – and they have to fill in a Self Assessment tax return.
12. Are landlords responsible for smoke alarms?
Yes, landlords are responsible for smoke alarms – and carbon monoxide detectors, if they’re required. Read up on your fire safety responsibilities as a landlord.
13. Are landlords selling up?
Following a whole host of tax changes in recent years, some landlords have decided to reduce their portfolios. But the fact remains that letting a property is still a great investment for those who can afford it.
14. Are landlords responsible for mould?
This is a tricky one. If there’s a structural fault causing the mould, such as a leaky pipe, the landlord is usually responsible, but if it’s neglect – like not opening the bathroom window, for example – then blame lies with the tenant.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to prove either way.
15. Are landlords rich?
Some are probably pretty wealthy, some others less so. But, either way, it shouldn’t be forgotten how many costs landlords incur, and how much hard work it can be to run a rental property.
But making sure you get your investments right probably helps. Check out our guide to the best buy-to-let areas in the UK if you’re thinking of adding to your portfolio in the coming year.
16. What do landlords need?
After reading some of these? We can only guess!
But while we’re at it, tax changes that don’t penalise them just for being landlords would probably be a nice start?
17. What do landlords pay for?
At times it feels like you pay for absolutely everything. But this search probably comes from tenants who are confused about which payments are their responsibility and which lie with their landlord.
Make sure your clear with your tenants at the start of their tenancy, and have everything set out in your signed tenancy agreement, and your tenants should never have to ask this.
18. What do landlords do?
Well it probably depends on how hands-on your are, and whether you use a letting agent. But trust us, in most cases the answer is usually ‘a lot’.
19. What do landlords pay tax on?
Everything, it feels like. For a full breakdown of rental property tax, check out our guide.
20. What do landlords want?
See point 16.
What’s your least favourite landlord stereotype? Let us know in the comments.