Bad Landlords

Bad Landlords

23:44 PM, 6th June 2013, About 11 years ago 23

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Bad LandlordsWhy on earth would anybody want to search Google for “Bad Landlords”?

My stepson (Ilya) bought something to my attention this evening which blew my mind. Ilya is a student at Greenwich University and is studying games development. He’s a self confessed Geek, far worse than me LOL.

Mark, he said, you know you run The GOOD Landlords Campaign?

(me) Yeah

(Ilya) Well I’ve done some research and only 260 people search Google every month to find “Good Landlords”

(me) yeah?

(Ilya) Well for a laugh I checked how many people search for “bad landlords” every month and there’s 720  searching Google for them in the UK alone!

(me) I wonder how many search for Rogue Landlord then?

(Ilya) That’s what I found a bit strange. There’s a charity in London called Shelter and they run campaigns asking tenants to report “Rogue Landlords” so I thought there would be 1,000’s but Google only report 390 monthly searches.

Now make of that what you will. I checked his source and his figures are accurate.

There is even a bad landlords list on the Tenants From Hell website where you can, of course, watch a selection of the anti landlord propaganda video’s from Shelter!

Surely you think tenants would be more interested in finding good landlords than bad landlords or rogue landlords wouldn’t you?

Am I missing something here?

The mind boggles!

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Vanessa Warwick

8:53 AM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi Mark,

My desire is that tenants learn to "vet" landlords, just as landlords are urged to vet tenants.

By checking out landlords, the good & ethical landlords will be found and the bad landlords avoided.

There is so much information available on the social web, that tenants can research a prospective landlord and find out if they write on Facebook that their tenants are "scum" or that they have set up a premium rate phone number so that it costs tenants to phone repairs in. (Yes! Really!).

About three years ago, I warned that tenants will use the web to vet landlords:

The bad landlords spoil it for the good landlords and incur extra legislation that is onerous on us. Yet they will not comply with that very legislation that has been brought in to stop them!

Educating tenants should be part of the remit of all good landlords as we can help them learn how to spot the rogues.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:04 AM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

I totally agree Vanessa. Good landlords need to raise their profiles and tenants need to know how to find them. That's why The GOOD Landlords Campaign exists.

Councils have all the powers they need to close down over-crowded or dangerous properties but they rarely do it because they know that by doing so they create themselves a bigger homelessness problem which they don't have the finds to deal with.

It's up to good landlords to raise their profile so that it's easier for good tenants to find them. In the meantime, landlords generally will continue to be a scape goat for Politicians to deflect the real housing crisis issues and good landlords will continue to be looked upon as a piggy bank to be raided by Councils whenever they need to raise more funds in terms of stealth taxes, which of course bad landlords will rarely pay!

Vanessa Warwick

9:31 AM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Thanks Mark.

Shelter have a lot to answer for their hatred of landlords. They seem to suggest we are all greedy and uncaring and they incite anti-landlord feelings at every possible opportunity.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:35 AM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Yes I agree Vanessa, you'd think a charity such as Shelter would want to help promote the sharing of best practice amongst landlords and also help tenants to find GOOD Landlords wouldn't you?

16:15 PM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago


I am assuming that the number of searches were conducted using Google Adwords, just a quick point to make that the volumes shown are averages over a period of time and aren't exact numbers. If you checked the same results in a few months time then you would see variations.



Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

16:39 PM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Indeed they were Sunny and yes you are quite right, it was indeed the Google Adsense Keywords Tool we used. Being an official Google Publisher it would be treason for us to use any other method to produce these figures LOL


16:40 PM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Unfortunately, the majority of private landlords (most of which I'm sure are good people) do not wish to publish their names or any other private information on the internet or within social media in the name of free advertising for obvious reasons so any searches will be distorted.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

16:53 PM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

@DC - perhaps that will change when all the best tenants approach landlords who are not afraid of the internet?

With 95% of tenants now finding properties to let via websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla as opposed to local newspapers landlords have had to make their properties which are available To-Let available in the places where tenants are looking to find them. This is no different in my opinion. Fast forward 5 years and landlords without any internet presence may well struggle, especially if there is a turn in the supply and demand ratio. Tenants are being educated to do their "due diligence". Landlords need to make this easy for them. What I suspect will happen, and already is to a very great extent, is that bad tenants will approach landlords who are not internet savvy. If a landlord can't be found on the internet, chances are that landlord will not be using the internet for the due diligence and marketing of his business.


17:23 PM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi Mark, yes our properties are made available through many portals on the internet and we also make use of many other sites on the internet when doing our due diligence when looking to purchase. I have no desire to make my private details readily available and prefer to rely on our excellent letting agents good name, which is probably the case of most landlords. My letting agent gets many recommendations from me in return for the good level of service they provide plus a very reasonable (to me) fee to boot.
The problem is that we should all expect excellent service so when we get it that should be the norm. It's when we get bad service that we complain and want to warn others not to go there but in saying that we must also be careful how we express that feedback too!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

17:29 PM, 7th June 2013, About 11 years ago

That's a fair point DC but I can't see the relevance of that to supporting the goal of sharing best practice. That can be done anonymously by individuals if they so choose but in Shelter's case I would have thought they would want to be seen to be doing it.

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