12:47 PM, 19th October 2013, About 9 years ago 44
The phrase “amateur landlord” annoys me, I really wish people would stop using it.
First off, if you were a tenant would you want to be dealing with an amateur landlord?
I don’t recall ever seeing an advert on Rightmove or Zoopla which reads “Amateur landlord offers this stunning 3 bed ……” do you?
Would you put the words amateur landlord in you to let advert?
The phrase smacks of the landlord behaving amateurishly or not having a clue about what they are doing doesn’t it?
Dictionary definitions of the word amateur include:-
Are these the descriptions that people with just one or two rental properties wish to affiliate themselves with?
A landlord who owns just one property should still act professionally shouldn’t they?
I don’t really understand why the phrase “amateur landlord” ever came about. People who rent out property take an income from the rent, some spend any profits, some reinvest them and all are hoping for capital growth. Whilst this may not be their main profession, and often isn’t, surely they can’t claim to be amateurs? Why would they want to?
Perhaps they don’t want to be called professional landlords in the hope that Consumer Laws will protect them? Well there is no legal definition for what a professional landlord is anyway so I can’t see how that makes any difference. The legal case of OFT vs Foxtons ruled that landlords can be protected by consumer laws, however, the case didn’t set any a criteria for what constitutes a landlord no longer being a consumer.
Would these be consumers?
1) Let’s assume a person earned £500,000 a year as a banker and owned 30 investment properties making a net profit of a further £50,000 a year would that person still be a consumer?
2) Turn the numbers around and let’s assume the banker is making £500,000 of net profit a year from his property portfolio and £50k a year from a non-exec Directorship, what then? Logic might suggest he can’t possibly be a consumer any more because the vast majority of his income comes from being a landlord right? Well I’m not so sure about that either.
3) What about a housewife who owns one property making £50 a month profit after all expenses and has no other income?
The housewife with one property might be the better landlord too, hence more professional?
So is it number of properties which should set the precedent of whether a person remains a consumer or should it be based on what percentage of their earnings relate to rental properties. Based on the three examples above I can’t see logically how it could be either of these.
So, with no precise legal definition for what is a consumer landlord why do we have all these other tags?
Why aren’t landlords referred to as landlords?
If we must have further definitions I suggest the following:-
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