Women now account for two in five landlords in the UK with most female investors using property lettings as a means to topping up their monthly income from other sources, according to new research.
An analysis of tens of thousands of landlords by Simple Landlords Insurance shows that 40% of landlords are women. By comparison, only 17% of SME owners are women which the firm believe indicates how property is moving towards equality at a faster pace than other industries.
Also, poll of over 400 landlords showed how male and female investors have different goals for their investments with 63% of female landlords saying that using rent for monthly income was their long term business goal, as opposed to long term capital growth, compared with 53% of men.
The research also found that women are more likely than men to have become accidental landlords. Some 48% of female landlords choose to be buy to let investors compared to 61% of men.
Indeed, women were more likely to have become landlords after moving in with a partner and renting out their own property or through purchasing a property for a family member to live in, such as a child attending university.
Female landlords are also likely to provide rented accommodation to a more diverse range of tenants than men. Some 35% said they would rent to housing benefit recipients, compared with 25% of men. Women were also more open to renting to pensioners, students and single employed tenants.
‘As recently as 1970 women could be refused a mortgage without a male guarantor. But buying, selling, renovating, and renting property is no longer just for the boys,’ said Alexandra Huntley, Simple Landlords Insurance head of operations.
‘Those stereotypes are firmly consigned to history. Women have been steadily gaining ground over the last 50 years and are increasingly gaining financial independence through property investment,’ she added.
The research is included in a new Women in Property Report along with real life examples and practical advice for female landlords from the Female Property Alliance. It includes the story of Bindar Dosanjh, alliance founder, who built a multi-million pound portfolio after she became a single mother and had to rent rooms to pay the bills and survive.
‘For me, investing in property was about having the freedom to make choices about my life. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way but have been able to fall back on property income when I lost my job in the 2008 recession and again when I became seriously ill and was unable to work,’ she said.
‘Being a good communicator, a good negotiator and being good at managing people are key attributes for any landlord. They are also things women can be great at but don’t always recognise as valuable and transferable skills. I see many women who have hidden skills that can be applied to property investment more easily than they think,’ she added.