ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are all Landlords Greedy and Money-Grabbing?

Updated on August 9, 2017
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella is a full-time professional landlord and property developer with fourteen years' experience. She is based in the UK

Being a Landlord is No Easy Way to Riches

Landlords don't have diamond encrusted knickers!
Landlords don't have diamond encrusted knickers! | Source

‘Stand and Deliver!’

I'm a UK landlord; we're often depicted as 'the highwaymen of this century.’ This came as a bit of a shock to know as it's so not me!

Highwaymen of times past - Dick Turpin to name the most notorious - would readily hold up a horse-drawn carriage, reputedly shouting: ‘Stand and deliver!’ He’d relieve travellers of the contents of their wallets, pockets, diamond encrusted knickers etc, at gunpoint. This was pure blatant robbery, no doubt about it and Turpin eventually received his just reward in the form of the gallows in 1739 at York.

The Downtrodden Landlord

Responsible landlords only want the rent to be paid on time in order to pay the mortgage so their properties aren't repossessed by the building society. We also expect our properties to be respected and the neighbours not to be disturbed. Of course, there are bad landlords just as there are bad tenants but it's far more likely that the landlord will suffer from property-related issues than the tenant. Tenants are always in a better position to take advantage purely because they have complete control over what goes on at the property and can withhold rent but the landlord is not there and can only react to a situation after the event.

In the USA, the landlord has more power than the tenant from a legal standpoint and power can always be abused, but in the UK this is not the case; the landlord has very little power and the law here is generally biased in favour of the tenant. In an ideal world, the law should be favourable to both tenants and landlords. The relationship between the two should be entirely fair and equal and beneficial to both; it should be a symbiotic one. If you don’t remember from high school biology what this entails, it means a relationship that isn't parasitical but one that is mutually beneficial. The landlord is providing a service and the tenant is able to enjoy living in accommodation they're unable to purchase for whatever reason.

As a full-time professional landlord, I have over a dozen properties in the UK all of which are mortgaged. I have to pay all of these mortgages every single month without fail whether the rent comes in or not or my only exit strategy will be to jump in the river. If the rent doesn’t arrive for whatever reason, I can’t give the mortgage company the same feeble excuses that some of my tenants have given to me. If I don’t pay on time, my credit rating will be affected immediately. I have a credit score that will get me into heaven but that could all change overnight if I get a bad tenant who's determined not to pay for the roof over his own head.

No one seems to appreciate the sheer amount of overheads a landlord has to pay after monthly mortgage costs have been met. These include buildings insurance, life insurance to cover the mortgage, gas and electrical safety checks and repairs and maintenance to name but a few, There is scarcely any profit to speak of once these outgoings have been met. Landlords with mortgages can only hope their properties will eventually go up in value so they can sell at a profit.

I’m a fair and honest person. I make sure the accommodation I let is safe and is of a high standard. I only expect three things from my tenants – that they'll pay the rent, not upset the neighbours and that they'll look after the house but I have to comply with an ever increasing amount of legislation some of which is unnecessary and sometimes means I have to increase the rent to cover costs. I also have to pay overdraft fees and credit card fees and borrow from relatives if my tenants don't pay their way. Ask any of my tenants if I’m a good landlord and I know they'll say yes but being a good landlord can't extend to the point where your business suffers if you're too lenient.

If you go to the supermarket, you place your goods in the trolley and pay for them there and then. You can’t say to the nice checkout lady: ‘Can I pay next month please?’ But this is what some of my tenants have often asked me. I’m a woman so maybe some tenants think I’m a soft touch but at the end of the day if they mess me around I could be out selling the ‘Big Issue’ if the building society decides to repossess. The tenant, however, can easily find somewhere else to rent.

The building society never loses, the tax man never loses, and neither does the council or the government but the landlord stands to lose everything if rent is unpaid. The level of responsibility in being a landlord is on a level with that of being God. God, if you believe in him, is the ultimate landlord. He gave us the tenancy of this planet. He gave us dominion over all living things and we messed up. He never asked us for any rent but we have still fouled up our own nest. I’m not particularly religious but I can sympathise with God in this respect especially after having houses trashed by tenants who didn't deserve a dog kennel to live in.

As a landlord, it's often the case that you trustingly hand over the keys to a property in pristine condition then each time you call for the rent, things are noticeably on a downward spiral. Fixtures and fittings go walkabout. Drains get bunged up and the property goes from Barratt show home quality to squalid squat in no time at all. Don’t get me wrong - at the moment I have a good bunch of tenants but I’ve also had the worst of the worst and if anything positive can come out of a bad experience then it makes you more aware of how bad people can be. I have had so called ’born again’ Christians in one property who all but wrecked the place. I had to do a total refurbishment on the house after the nice Christians had left - give me a responsible heathen any day of the week! The landlord can only react to a bad situation so there are no preventative measures to be taken beforehand even when tenants are vetted and checked thoroughly at the commencement of a tenancy.

I'm currently in debt to the tune of a million GB pounds, so think again all you folk who reckon landlords are wealthy. If you have a lot of houses it means you also have a lot of bills. The only reason I can still sleep soundly at night is that I hold the hope that one day my houses will increase in value so the debt can be accounted for if the value of my portfolio is higher.

An Amusing Song About Landlords

A Handy Book for Every Landlord

Do Your Due Diligence

Nowadays, whether you are a landlord or a tenant it is possible to take preventative measures to reduce the possibility of being ripped off by unscrupulous people. Doing the proper research will enable you to avoid many of the pitfalls associated with letting or renting a property. As mentioned previously, there are bad landlords and there are bad tenants so the better informed you are to protect yourself against such people will lessen the likelihood of making costly and time consuming property related mistakes.

Advice for New Landlords

Keys to Success?

The keys to correct property management
The keys to correct property management | Source

Just because landlords have a lot of houses it doesn't mean they have a lot of money!

— Stella Kaye

Be Careful That Bad Tenants Don't Burst Your Bubble!

The housing bubble is a very delicate thing
The housing bubble is a very delicate thing | Source

Should landlords and tenants be treated equally in law?

See results

© 2016 Stella Kaye

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)