More than a fifth of landlords are too embarrassed to admit it because there is a "stigma" attached, according to a survey. The National Landlords Association (NLA) polled 800 of its members across the UK and found 21% reporting they are too embarrassed to say they are a landlord.
Horror stories from renters about their experiences of bad landlords, and rising rents amid a housing shortage, fuel negative attitudes.
In one high-profile case, a 2015 raid in East Ham by local housing officers found 26 people crammed into a three bedroom property licenced for a maximum of seven tenants. Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, called it "Dickensian". The landlord would be prosecuted, said Newham council.
"The number of people looking to invest in property is rising all the time yet the stigma attached to being a landlord never seems to diminish," said Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA.
"It's the minority of rogues and criminal landlords that make the headlines, and this has a negative impact on everyone else. The majority of landlords are hardworking individuals who put their own money into providing homes for others, and they should not be ashamed to say so."
There have been several tax hikes on landlords by the Treasury to cool demand from buy-to-let investors and reduce competition in the housing market for first-time buyers. Stamp duty on additional property purchases is now subject to a 3% surcharge on top of basic rates. Tax reliefs for mortgage interest and maintenance costs have also been slashed.