Female landlords more accepting of diverse tenant types

Female landlords are more sensitive to personal circumstances and more likely to rent to different types of tenant – from single mums to pensioners and students.

That’s one of the findings from a new report by Simple Landlords Insurance out today, looking at the rise of women in property and the difference between male and female landlords – www.simplelandlordsinsurance.com/women-in-property-report

They’ve found that women are 10% more likely than men to rent to people on benefits. What’s more, tenants are probably going to get a really nice place to live – with women also more likely than men to invest in a property they’d actually want to live in themselves – some 47% compared to 39% of men. Women appear to pride themselves on building positive relationships with their tenants – and see that as a key strength in their investment strategies.

Bindar Dosanjh, Director of Smart Core Wealth and founder of the Female Property Alliance has been working with Simple Landlords on the report. She says: “I have always treated my tenants as customers who deserve excellent accommodation and service, and I have found this rewarding both ethically and financially. I want them to make it their home and stay for longer and care about and look after the properties themselves.

“Being a good communicator, a good negotiator and being good at managing people are key attributes for any landlord. They are also things women can be great at – but don’t recognise as valuable and transferable skills for running a successful portfolio. I believe that pretty much anything else to do with property, you can learn.”

Head of Operations at Simple Landlords, Alex Huntley, agrees. She adds: “150 years ago, women WERE property. Now 40% of UK landlords are now women – women who are buying, selling, renting and profiting from property. Women clearly make great landlords. They are also sensitive landlords – and in our conversations with female investors that’s consistently been identified as a strength rather than a weakness. These are landlords tenants WANT to rent from.

“Many female landlords we talked to had a social conscience, and wanted to support traditional social-housing tenants. However, these are first and foremost business people. Many were deeply concerned that the forthcoming tax changes would leave them with no choice but to raise rents for long term, trusted tenants who could ill afford it. Others felt they couldn’t continue to rent to benefit recipients as Universal Credit rolls out and adds another layer of uncertainty to their investments.

“If the open-mindedness of private female landlords has been helping to plug the gap in social housing, these changes could tip the balance and mean struggling tenants have even less options open to them.”

Yet despite the challenges of the changing market, the Simple Landlords report shows that women in property remain confident about the future. Asked to rank their confidence on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is very confident, just 8% of women reported confidence levels between 1 and 3, compared to 54% who scored 8 or over.

Perhaps a factor in that is that women were found to be more likely to own their own properties outright than to hold a mortgage – and therefore wouldn’t be affected by changes to tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages.

Alex continues: “Insurance wise, I don’t see the landscape changing much over the coming months. Although the government has increased insurance premium tax in the last 18 months, it’s probably the least of investors worries, and the vast majority of our own customers are telling us they plan to stick with their investments or even grow their portfolios.

“In the future I expect to see fewer landlords, and landlords with larger portfolios – with more investment in Houses of Multiple Occupation and mixed use properties. I very much expect to see women take their place amongst them. We’ve come a long way in the last 50-150 years, and we bring something different and very valuable to the sector. I can’t wait to see what women in property make happen in – and for – the next generation.”

Blog post by: Abi Stevens abistevenscomms@gmail.com

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