A portfolio landlord and property educator has vowed to keep posting on social media despite receiving hundreds of spiteful troll messages every day.

Rick Gannon, who has a £7 million portfolio with 140 tenants mainly around Worcester and also runs a training company which teaches students how to run an HMO portfolio, has nearly 6,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 125,000 followers on TikTok, where he acts as an advisor and advocate for tenants’ rights.

Gannon wakes up to about 200 troll messages on every platform and can even get 800 on one post if it goes viral.

“The more you put yourself out there, the more susceptible you are to people not agreeing with you,” he tells LandlordZONE.

“I used to try and defend my position but you can never win. Engaging with these trolls in an online debate can also affect your mental health.”

House inspection

About 99% of his posts are educational and free but even when simply walking through a legal house inspection Gannon will get thousands of people telling him to leave tenants alone.

“I’m out there to help tenants with enquiries,” he explains. “If I carry on, I hope that landlords will get more respect. Plus, the more comments I get on a post, the more it will go viral, so in effect these trolls are helping me reach more people.”

Some who respond to his video posts are evidently frustrated about the challenge of becoming a homeowner, but Gannon believes it’s not landlords who should shoulder the blame, but instead points the finger at a lack of new houses.

“The issue of supply and demand is pushing prices up while wages are not growing in line. Most landlords just have an extra buy-to-let rather than hundreds of houses – it’s an unfair brush to tar them with,” he says.

New findings from Octane Capital backs this up, as although £36.9bn was lent to buy-to-let investors in 2021, this was surpassed by first-time buyer loans, at £74.3bn.

6 COMMENTS

  1. No problem online abusing landlords as long as they’re white, heterosexual, able bodied, non religious. It’s only a crime to be vile to minorities.

  2. Building houses is NOT the answer.

    How can sufficient properties be built to provide for over 2.5 million illegal immigrants and the 6 million EU nationals that now are settled in the UK!?

    Reducing demand by closing the borders is the only way.

    Unfortunately the Govt REFUSES to control borders.

    There will therefore continue to be a housing problem.

  3. The problem is lack of information. There needs to be clear and concise information given to every tenant on both their rights and responsibilities. The best place to put this is in the Right to Rent leaflet that must be provided with every tenancy.

    If this leaflet clearly outlines the tenant’s responsibilities with online links to further information everyone will be working on the same information.

    Misinformation or erroneous second-hand information is the main cause of disputes.

    How many times have I had to explain about cleaning to tenants, not just during the tenancy but also at the end. Every year I get complaints about ants coming into the house/kitchen/bedroom. when I go to inspect there are empty food packets with food waste ranging from poppadum’s and rice to Kentucky Fried Chicken bones and leftovers. I cannot remember how many half eaten pizza boxes I have thrown out.

    If the toilet is not cleaned weekly it will go brown and if the plug-in doorbell is kicked both the doorbell and the socket will get broken. So don’t put it in a narrow corridor near the floor. Put it above the kitchen workspace. If have lost your keys don’t break the glass in the front door, call someone else in the property to let you in and report it to the landlord so that the lock can be replaced. If there is a smell of gas it is not something that will go away it is an emergency. If there electricity is not working, then check if the other houses are also without power, and the same with water. If a dog or fox has fouled the front garden, it is not the landlord’s responsibility to go round and clear it up, the same with beer cans and condoms.

    The list is endless. There needs to be clear guidance to prevent disputes. Arbitration is a last resort and the need for it is caused by lack of proper information. This will help everyone both landlords and tenants will benefit.

    Only the Trolls will loose out because everyone now knows what is right and what is wrong AND when some agreement is necessary to cover the middle ground.

  4. Many property trainers use the rhetoric of “trolls”, “haters”, and “neg heads”, but someone challenging you is none of those things. It’s just someone who does not share your opinion and they have the right to comment in the interests of opinion that could be in the public interest, or simply because they want to portray a different point of view.

    Such comments are healthy in ensuring that someone does not control the narrative about a particular topic. They also help tease out the issues which helps people make more informed buying decisions.

    It’s very common, when someone does want to control the narrative, to delete and block anyone who shares an alternative view. It’s somewhat of a “red flag” in my opinion. That’s why these people rarely comment on platforms that they do not control the commenting on and also run their own facebook groups where they can control everything and ensure the narrative is en point with their agenda.

    I certainly have zero sympathy for Rick Gannon and regard this as a bit of a non-story as everyone on social media faces both legitimate challenges and trolls. If you comment publicly, expect to be commented on publicly!

    Calling everyone who disagrees with you a “troll” is lazy and erroneous and hardly newsworthy when there are far more serious issues facing landlords than hurt feelings.

    *Definition of a troll – someone who is out to cause mischief, disrupt, and discredit with a nefarious motive or agenda. They are not interested in learning or reasoned debate, just want to cause trouble.

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