Even as recently as the 1970s, women could be refused a mortgage without a male guarantor. Compare that to research from Simple Landlords Insurance (SLI) that women now account for 40% of landlords.
SLI surveyed more than 400 male and female landlords and 500 tenants from across the UK for their Women In Property report.
48% of female landlords set out to invest in property (compared to 61% of men). The rest fell into the category of “accidental landlords”. Approximately 25% rented their property out when they moved in with a partner; 20% either had a property they couldn’t sell or inherited one; and less than 10% purchased a property for a family member, such as a child going to university.
Unlike men who were more interested in the long-term capital gain, women were more interested in using the rent for a monthly income.
Women tend to have smaller portfolios and were less likely to undertake big renovation projects. They were also more likely to invest in property they would live in themselves.
Approaching 50% of female landlords have a mortgage for their properties and around 35% own them outright. The remainder have a mix of both.
61% of women use letting agents either solely for help in finding tenants or to manage the whole process.
35% of women inspected their properties every 2-6 months. Perhaps worryingly around 30% only inspected once a year or less. There were several reasons for this – in some cases, women felt that the inspections were intrusive for tenants they had good relationships with, but a small number of women had concerns for their safety and didn’t want to conduct an inspection alone.
Most tenants didn’t mind whether their landlord was male or female. Where female landlords were preferred was because they were seen as being more sensitive to personal circumstances and would take more pride in the property they were renting out. Some tenants, however, believed that women were less likely to fix issues quickly and would be less diligent in complying with various regulations.
35% of female landlords said they would rent to housing benefit recipients and were more open to renting to pensioners, students and single employed tenants. However, there were concerns that tax changes would mean that rents would need to go up, pricing out some of their tenants. Some were also worried about the risks involved with universal credit being paid directly to tenants.