Is your sex letting you down?
3:26pm Thursday 30th August 2012
Who makes a better tenant, a man or a woman? Online lettings agent Upad asked 885 landlords in the UK if they found men or women made better tenants in terms of maintaining a property and found landlords were equally split with some saying women were better at maintaining outside space and some saying men were more self-sufficient when it came to sorting out minor problems.
One respondent said: “Men make better tenants. They can (usually) change light bulbs, they know how the central heating works, and they’re more likely to carry out minor repairs than women. Men are more easy going, they take care of the small things – generally they just want a roof over their heads.”
Speaking in favour of female tenants another landlord said: “On average, females are tidier which means less maintenance. Females also seem to like their outside space being picturesque and generally do more in the garden – cutting the lawn and keeping it tidy.
“Females are also more in control of finances than males, I find I get on time payments from female tenants and they are also more likely to stay put.”
James Davis, CEO of Upad said: “Based on our findings it seems that the majority of landlords have a gender preference with the typical typecasts of men being good at general maintenance and women being clean and tidy still very much in association. “However, what was interesting was the fact that while men and women can be penalised for various different reasons, it seems singletons are in the firing line as well. “When we asked landlords “who makes the best tenants?” a number explained that they were more in favour of couples as both parties fulfil certain jobs in the home.”
In relation to this, one respondent in Upad’s results noted: “Both genders have their pros and cons but ideally I prefer couples as tenants. You often find one is good at keeping things clean and tidy and the other is good at sorting out the little things. Also, couples tend to be the best long-term tenants particularly if they have a child. I just tend to avoid sharers in favour of couples.”
Meanwhile Leaders letting agents which has branches across south London say the number one thing which concerns landlords is that their tenants, of either sex, pay on time. And in any case it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of gender, race and disability. Leaders’ technical and compliance director Carole Charge said: “Whilst some landlords may have a gender preference when it comes to choosing their tenants, it is in fact illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, race and disability. “Many landlords may not realise this. A professional letting agent will be aware of the law and ensure that their clients do not discriminate in any way. At Leaders, if we believed a client was attempting to be discriminatory, we would inform them of the law and, if they continued to be discriminatory, we would no longer be prepared to act as their agent in letting their property.
“In more than 20 years in the industry, I personally have never seen a gender preference amongst landlords. Landlords generally just want someone who will pay the rent on time and look after the property – in my experience they do not tend to mind whether that person is male or female.”