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NRLA to drop 'landlord' in bid to change public perceptions of sector

ben beadle landlord

The NRLA is to drop the word ‘landlord’ from its strapline in a bid to change public attitudes of those who rent out and manage properties.

Chief Executive Ben Beadle (main image, second right) revealed the move during a wide-ranging debate at the recent HMO Awards conference in Buckinghamshire, during which he was joined on stage by its co-founder Vann Vogstad (second left), HMO campaigner and ProPods founder Daryn Brewer (right) and property investment mentor Andy Graham (left).

The group discussed how the public perception of HMOs and landlords meant many members of the public opposed planning applications without understanding that not all HMOs are bad, and how this perception needs to be tackled.

One example of a solution is Birmingham City Council, which Brewer said has reclassified HMOs as ‘co-living’ properties, one of the few authorities to do so.

He also said one strategy he has embraced is to buy derelict or empty retail units on high streets and turn then into C4 class HMOs, avoiding the accusation from locals that ‘family homes’ are being removed from the local market.

“I think the model is changing, and I think you have to change with the times,” said Brewer.

Beadle went on to say that terms such as ‘HMO’ and ‘landlord’ need to be replaced if the sector is going to change public perceptions of what it does.

“Somebody mentions landlord and immediately images of Peter Rackman or other unsavoury characters are conjured up in the media, and obviously that couldn't be further from the truth,” said Beadle.

“So we won’t be referring to ‘landlords’ in our strapline, believe it or not and instead want to talk about ‘responsibility’ and so change the way we all think about the rental sector and focus on the experience and benefits that it can bring to consumers.

“I'm not ashamed to be a landlord, I'm proud to be a landlord and a good one too, as many of you in this room are.

“But where politics is moving to - and Daryn referenced this -is not being fair. Politics isn’t about fairness now it’s about ideologies. We have to talk up what we're doing.”