Is property investing ethical?
There are Certain stigmas attached to being a landlord. Stigmas that can be fuelled by news stories such as rising rent prices and poor rental conditions. You may be here asking the question, is property investing ethical, and we are here to explain how being an ethical landlord is a goal that is achievable, beneficial and one that we are passionate to promote at Asset Academy.
The winning formula
At Asset Academy we love win-win situations. In fact, we actively teach students how to create winning situations for everyone within their investing sphere. Win-win-win-win-wins if you like. The obvious advantage to this approach is that everyone achieves their goals without feeling the need to compromise. So how do win-wins thrive within property investing?
While the old stigma of landlords may be to take away without necessarily giving back, we passionately promote a revolving door of reciprocal benefits. For a buy-to-let property, the end customer who is the tenant, needs to have a safe, comfortable and healthy environment to call home. An ethical landlord will be the one who provides rental accommodation that meets the needs of the tenant first and foremost. The win-wins spread much further, however.
A good property investor will bring business to everyone in their Power Team. This will include the solicitor, mortgage broker, letting agent, accountant, trades people, insurance broker, architect… the list goes on and on. At the start of the process, we also have of course the seller, who needs to sell their property in order to move on.
It is evident how each and every one of these people will benefit through an investor doing property deals the right way, and therefore presents opportunities to make property investing ethical. There are of course other considerations that come into play, such as being mindful of other people that may be affected by your investments.
Location is everything for property investing
Matching the right strategy to the right property in the right area is a big part of being an ethical property investor. Some people may simply look at the most profitable way to invest money without considering if it is an ethical investment or not. This has become particularly problematic in some rural communities where the demand for houses as holiday lets and second homes has priced local residents out of the market.
This is an extreme example of how the pursuit of profit can negatively impact others. However, through carefully selecting an area for holiday lets it is possible to create a positive impact by employing local cleaners and promoting trade for local businesses. There are also other location-based considerations that must be made beyond holiday lets.
A simple buy-to-let rental property or HMO will require some thought for its location and tenant demographic. Will your rental property be part of a solution or part of a problem for the local community?. For example, will the type of tenant you are seeking be a good fit for the other residents within the area. There is a specific type of buy-to-let that can have a very measurable positive impact on others.
Working with Charities and Councils
Many people in the UK rely on local authorities and charities for a safe place to live and the demand for such properties most often outstrips supply. It is common for such organisations to lease properties from private landlords in order to try and fill the gap. This provides a direct opportunity for landlords to make a real difference to other peoples’ lives.
The types of people that require such help can range from people who simply cannot afford rent, to people who have specific housing needs, to victims of abuse and asylum seekers… plus many more. This is another example of where win-win situations can be created through being an ethical property investor. If you are interested, you can learn more about this strategy by reading our blog post: Would You Like Guaranteed Rent While Helping Others?
Finding the right balance
There are challenges that landlords face today that need to be navigated in order to strike the right balance. Changes to Government legislation and taxation have created additional features that landlords need to factor into their strategies. The energy efficiency of rental properties has also come under close scrutiny and proposed minimum standards for EPC ratings will present extra costs for landlords in the future. While some of these costs will impact rental increases, being a good landlord today requires structuring deals in a way that accommodates such expenses.
This is when property investment education plays an important role in earning ethical income from rentals. Whereas being a landlord was once relatively unregulated by today’s standards, now property investors need to be on their game. This can only come through gaining the right knowledge and implementing it.
Through understanding how to invest in property the right way it is possible to not only earn an ethical income by providing a great home for your tenants, but it is also possible to bring trade to everyone in your Power Team. It is our responsibility as property educators to share the tools that enable people to do this and to promote the ethical standards of property investing going forwards. If you want to find out more, we host regular Discovery Webinars that are absolutely FREE to join. See you on the next one.