Choose to be an Ethical Buy-to-Let Landlord
There’s a stereotype that if you are a buy to let landlord, you're only in it for the money. If you’ve ever unpacked your child’s belongings into a damp-smelling student house, you might be inclined to believe it. But increasingly, today's investors are taking a more ethical, human approach that chimes with the principles of Conscious Capitalism – and they’re finding it can be a profitable position to take too.
When it comes to the places they live in, many tenants still must put up with a lot. They’re forced into a limited range of private properties with a desperate shortage of purpose-built, affordable accommodation. Often on the outskirts of communities and sometimes not the greatest housing stock, these properties remain unloved by their tenants, who form negative relationships with their management companies and landlords.
The rise of Conscious Capitalism
However, that picture is starting to change as a new wave of investors realise there’s a better way for everyone. Conscious Capitalism – individuals and businesses with social values that take account of everyone’s interests – has been transforming the retail sector for a while. Think of fast-growing High Street brands like Patagonia and Lush, for example. And there’s a good, market-driven reason for that transformation. A global study by Nielsen found that two-thirds of people are now willing to pay more for products and services from companies that care about social and environmental issues.
Driven by a shared desire for social good, ethical buy-to-let landlords are raising the bar in the property market. There’s a growing realisation that a happy tenant is a better tenant, and landlords looking after the places they rent out and the people they rent to are being rewarded with consistent returns and longer lets from satisfied customers, with reduced changeover costs to boot.
Better homes drive better tenants (and better revenues)
Working with tenants rather than against them creates less stress and angst for everyone concerned. Equipping a property to a good standard from the outset, the improved conditions generate less ongoing maintenance for ethical landlords and management companies. When upkeep is required, an ethical approach ensures it’s carried out quickly and without fuss. It’s what you’d want for your home, so why wouldn’t you do it for people living in any buy-to-let you own? A more desirable home is likely to be let faster, for a reasonable rent and for longer.
Whether it’s fast WIFI or a nicely furnished communal area to gather and relax, people appreciate the efforts of landlords and management companies who take care of their living space and, contrary to popular belief, are more like to take care of it themselves too. In today’s market, the old-school landlord philosophy of doing just enough to stay (barely) legal is going the way of the dinosaur. Ethical buy to let landlords are both sowing the social benefits and reaping the financial rewards – with better tenants, greater harmony, fewer problems, and less frequent property maintenance. That’s a win for everyone concerned.