#PropertyTok: the surprising rise of the landlord influencer
So-called landlord influencers are promoting the big money that can be made from renting houses in a new sub-genre of TikTok that is viewed by millions of people around the world.
In videos posted with the hashtag #PropertyTok, landlords “boast about gouging the prices of homes they bought on the cheap” and “often charge four times the rent for a month’s mortgage,” Sarah Manavis told news site i. But while TikTok stars are raking in money and “massive followings” by “promoting renting and real estate portfolios as desirable,” many of their followers are “deprived of the opportunity to ever own a home.”
“Irritating and perversely addictive”
Some of the powerful homeowners “masquerade as gurus who preach the virtues of wealth creation and ‘passive income’ through expensive training courses,” said Simon Usborne of The Guardian. In the world of #PropertyTok, landlordism is “no longer seen as the prerogative of wealthy middle-aged people who have taken care of their retirement”, but rather as “a lifestyle and path to “financial freedom” for young people who might otherwise feel hungry. possibilities”.
Among the property ownership models promoted by influential landlords are multi-unit dwellings (HMOs) and a sublease option known as “lease-for-rent”, also known as Rent2Rent.
Critics argue that the promotion of these models can harm not only tenants, but also the reputation of landlords in general. “Firstly, landlords are not a universally recognized group,” Chris Norris, director of policy for the National Association of Homelanders, told the paper. “And I think a lot of that content emphasizes frills.”
Part of what makes the #PropertyTok videos “both so annoying and perversely addictive,” said Vice magazine’s Polly Smythe, is that these videos “make you witness the homeowner’s arrogant glee as they dance to songs like No money or Upward movement“.
“It’s also a consequence of the video’s language, which has a knack for depicting disappearing tenants and their uncomfortable humanity,” Smythe added, pointing to phrases such as “already rented out” and “owner planning to refinance, rent out and come back.” “. The fact that “the lives of real people are at stake” is hardly recognized.
“Liberation for Many People”
According to Dan Wilson Crowe, deputy director of the Generation Rent constituency, “The big problem tends to be that the economy treats property as an economic function and as something that inevitably rises in value.” This tendency to see real estate as a “trendy investment option” is driving down the price of people who need housing, he told Input magazine.
However, for those “trying to find a permanent job in the midst of a recession,” writes Sara Manavis for The New Statesman, #PropertyTok offers an enticing “fantasy where they have the disposable income, time, and energy to gut and renovate a derelict house”. build while continuing to pay for your own home.”
Influencer and landlord coach Samuel Leeds, who charges up to £12,000 for 12 months of rental housing training, told The Guardian he delivers a message that is “quite liberating for a lot of people who are on minimum wage and who are struggling. with the cost of living crisis.
“My gift, without being arrogant, is that I can make complex things quite simple,” said Leeds, who has posted hundreds of videos with titles such as “23k a month at 23,” which have racked up almost 40 million views.
Despite promises of big profits, the newspaper said, many influencers are “seeking to challenge the perception of landlords as agents of greed who inflate rents, skimp on maintenance and drive up house prices.”
“People think they are being pushed out of the housing market because they have landlords,” said Rick Gannon, a former police officer who now rents £7.5m worth of property to 150 tenants. But “if we look at it a little deeper, it’s probably not,” he told Input magazine. “It has a lot more to do with why people can’t get on the housing ladder.”
Yet, as Smythe of Vice magazine put it, “watching what looks like another interesting TikTok” only to find it’s another real estate investment promotion is “like taking a bite out of a donut and discovering that it’s filled with pus, not custard.”