BTL landlords bemoan negative press

The vast majority of private landlords feel the portrayal of the buy-to-let market by the mainstream media is unfair and inaccurate, a new survey shows.

While demand for rental properties remains incredibly high, 81% of BTL landlords say they feel “demonised” as the important role they play in the UK’s wider housing mix is “not recognised” by the mainstream media.

Instead, they argue that the media blames “greedy” landlords for the lack of stock and increasing rents, rather than the lack of properties built by the government over many years.

When asked if they agreed with the statement that the media portrayal is fair and accurate, one third of landlords – 33% – strongly disagreed, while almost half – 48% – disagreed.

One landlord said: “The PRS provides much needed homes that are not being built by councils. I am a good landlord but I am fed up with being portrayed as someone who has plenty of money and is profiteering off tenants. What would happen if most landlords sold their properties?”

Another said: “It would be good if the media was more balanced and also portrayed the issues for landlords with problem tenants.”

Paul Brett, managing director, intermediaries at Landbay, which carried out he study, commented: “There’s no question landlords have needed to be thick-skinned with successive anti-landlord governments and plenty of anti-landlord rhetoric in the national news. It’s unfortunate that bad news leads when there are so many positive examples of good landlords working in partnership with tenants to provide quality housing.

“With such a reliance on rented accommodation as part of the wider housing mix in the UK, we need quality landlords more than ever. We also need new entrants too as demand continues to outstrip supply.

“To make this all happen though, the government must champion those good quality landlords and work with the sector, rather than against it. This will hopefully bring a more balanced approach to the national news agenda and relieve some of the pressure felt by honest and hard working landlords across the country.”



Email the story to a friend


  1. Neil Robinson

    You wouldn’t think there was a housing crisis going on, the way the government and the press treat landlords.

    There is an enormous misconception about the rental market in general, which is miles out of date. It seems to be assumed that every tenant is only doing so because they cannot buy. This is clearly true in some cases, but renting is a lifestyle choice for many, whether that’s for work reasons, or personal belief.

    And those same people don’t need or want council houses – they want the same standard as homeowners which is exactly what most private landlords aim to provide. Yet that very standard is being threatened by increases in interest rates and tax. In other words, the money that could and should be put into maintenance, is now being taken by your lender and the government.

    Yet small landlords are the very people who can solve the housing crisis very quickly. If less than a quarter of all private landlords bought one more property, then there would be enough housing for everyone, and the shortage could be solved in less than 2 years.

    But that won’t happen under the current system. It can be solved very easily by reversing the new tax laws, abolishing the punitive SDLT surcharge and incentivising (with some monitoring of) landlords to ensure they have enough margin to make sure their properties are fit and proper.

    But to do that will mean a change in how landlords are thought of, and with very little political mileage to be made in that, especially in the face of pressure groups who simply want to peddle out the same old rhetoric, and a media who want to sensationalise the perception that everyone who rents is somehow suffering and oppressed.

  2. LVW4

    Instead of constantly referring to ‘BTL’, we should make more use of the correct term; ‘PRS’. Many landlords don’t ‘BTL’!

  3. Mads

    I don’t understand BTL.

    Renting is mostly for people that can’t afford a mortgage.

    But a BTL landlord must charge more than his mortgage to make a profit.

    Most tenants can’t afford this (or they would probably have a mortgage) so they need support from UC.

    So the entire BTL system is supplemented by tax papers money, because the only way to make a profit is too charge more rent than the tenant csn pay on their wages.

    It is a mad system. I don’t know what the answer is- but forcing a tenant to pay your mortgage , and your profit- which increases the benefits bill sky high-has to end soon.


    Either with mass homelessness (which may be your nurses, your children’s teachers, your train drivers- those very important key workers we clapped during lockdown) or a shake up in the housing market where we appreciate that profit is not the only important margin.

    1. Neil Robinson

      This is EXACTLY the type of dangerous and untrue misunderstanding of the PRS that I’m talking about.

      You’ve made exactly the assumptions I spoke of and they simply are not true.

      Not everyone in the PRS is in it because they can’t buy. Hardly any of my tenants are on any form of housing benefit – almost all of them are transitional tenants who will move on at some point when it suits them. Yes some are renting because they’ve not got a deposit to buy, but that is by no means everyone.

      And “forcing a tenant to pay your mortgage” is a load of rubbish. A tenant enjoys very flexible and fully maintained living arrangements with a tiny deposit down, monthly payments and all maintenance, repairs and safety certificates thrown in.

      Landlords on the other hand, need at least a 30% deposit, and have to pay out for far more than just their mortgage (as above, safety items, certs, repairs, routine maintenance, enhancements between tenants when there is no income), so yes, damn right the rental payment ought to be more than the mortgage payment.

      The sooner people realise that landlords provide a service that people NEED, the sooner we can recognise that small landlords perform a vital role in our housing economy.


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.