Tenants demand discounts from celebrity landlords


Tenants would be happy to pay higher rents for properties owned by celebrity landlords like George Clooney - but are less enthusiastic about renting from property magnates like Sir Alan Sugar.


[UKPRwire, Sat Jul 11 2009] In research carried out by Smartlandlord.co.uk, the property services website for landlords, tenants said they would be willing to pay a 9.9% premium to rent property from GEORGE CLOONEY - whose has rented out property to David and Victoria Beckham. But tenants said they'd have to be offered 26.4% OFF the monthly rent bill if they discovered GRANT BOVEY was their landlord.

SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNTS

Bovey, who is married to TV-presenter Anthea Turner, made some of the biggest property purchases across the country in recent years, only to lose his real-estate empire in the credit-crunch. His buy-to-let business, once Britain's largest, was taken over by HBOS last October. But Bovey launched a new housing company last April, much to the fury of his creditors who are still owed tens of thousands of pounds.

Bovey is just one of a growing number of celebrities who dabbled in real estate during the boom years. WAYNE ROONEY's real estate investments in London and Florida are estimated to be worth 25 million. But despite the scale of his investments, tenants said they'd need a 15.4% discount to move in to a property he owned. Men demanded a larger discount (17.5%) than women (14.5%) while teenagers said they'd want nearly a third off their rent (30.4%) for living in a Rooney property.

This was symptomatic of a wider trend. Despite the public's fascination with footballers, tenants are the most unenthusiastic about footballers as landlords - on average they'd demand 10.46% off the rent to live in a footballer's property. And men would demand significantly higher discounts from footballer landlords than women - a 14.3% discount as opposed to 8.9%.

MICHAEL OWEN proved to be the most popular footballer - women would demand only 4.8% off their rent if Owen was their landlord. Men were less enthusiastic about the Manchester United striker and would demand as much as 14.4% of their rent if they found out that he was their landlord.

ROBBIE FOWLER, who is estimated to be worth 31 million, invested early, buying houses for as little as 20,000 in Oldham - one of the few places where property prices continue to rise despite the credit crunch. Fowler' renown as a landlord spawned the terrace chant "We all live in a Robbie Fowler house" to the tune of Yellow Submarine. But potential tenants are clearly singing from a different hymn sheet. They would demand an average of 15.4% off their rent in return for renting a Robbie Fowler house.

Potential tenants also appear cautious of Liverpool striker, STEVEN GERRARD. Tenants would only accept Gerrard as a landlord if they had their rent reduced by on average by 7.8%. Every age group polled said they'd demand money off except teenagers who were willing to pay a whopping 21.4% mark-up for a property let out by Gerrard.

Television personalities appeared more trusted than footballers when it came to the Buy-to-let market although Sky Breakfast presenter EAMONN HOLMES proved unpopular with prospective tenants - and especially with the over 60s. The average over 60 would demand 11% off their rent in order to accept Holmes as their landlord.

There were huge differences between the sexes when it came to former Blue Peter host KONNIE HUQ. Women said they'd demand a 7.1% discount to rent from Huq - who reportedly turned down a six-figure sum to pose naked for Playboy magazine last year. Men, on the other hand, were more positive, saying they'd demand only 1.7% off to live in one of her properties.

PREMIUM

Tenants said they'd only pay a rental premium to live in one celebrity landlord's properties - GEORGE CLOONEY. On average men would be willing to pay 2.3% more rent for a house owned by the Hollywood star. But women are much more enthusiastic - saying they'd be willing to pay a 12.9% premium just to have George Clooney as a landlord. But Clooney's appeal didn't stretch to teenagers, would said they'd demand 5.4% off from the silver fox.

Even SIR STIRLING MOSS didn't impress tenants. When the motoring legend retried from racing he invested in heavily run-down buildings, and then worked hard to renovate them. Now aged 80, the motoring icon has reinvented himself as a property tycoon. Sir Stirling has 43 tenants in London and a Buy-to-Let property portfolio worth tens of millions of pound. But his racing pedigree didn't impress those polled who demanded an average 0.7% discount off the rent. Sir Stirling Moss was more popular with men than women. Men said they'd pay a 3.3% premium to live in one of his properties - although women demanded a 2.2% discount.

And despite being one of the most popular celebrity landlords, tenants also said they'd demand money off rent to live in a property owned by bass player ALEX JAMES of Britpop group Blur. Clearly being dubbed "the second drunkest member of the drunkest band in Britain," did nothing to win over tenants. James, who has a farm he lets out in Oxfordshire, would have to offer a 3.4% discount on rent to attract tenants. However, teenagers were less worried saying they'd be willing to pay an 8.9% premium on an Alex James' property.

SIR ALAN SUGAR also divided tenants. Teenagers said they'd pay 25% extra rent to live in one of his properties. In contrast, fifty-somethings demanded 13% off their rent. Sir Alan appears more popular among women who would only 4.3% off their rent. Conversely, men would require a 7.1% discount to be coaxed into renting from him.

Keshav Thukaram, managing director of Smartlandlord.co.uk said: "Despite the so called culture of celebrity, tenants insist they'd demand a discount from most celebrity landlords. With rents being squeezed, I suggest Grant Bovey and co think about renting out the properties themselves using a provider like Smartlandlord.co.uk. Cutting out the 12% letting fee is the best thing they can do to maintain profitability."

He added: "Having said all that, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who'd turn down the opportunity to live in a place owned by George Clooney. Just ask the Beckhams."

- ENDS -

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT SMARTLANDLORD.CO.UK

Smartlandlord.co.uk is a property website for professional landlords listing information on buying, selling, letting, insuring and financing properties. It aims to help landlords get the maximum return from their property portfolios by offering them an alternative to traditional lettings agents. It is also a provider of HIPs, EPCs, rent guarantee insurance, landlords buildings insurance, and landlords contents insurance.

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