An interview with Paul Routledge,founder tenant referencing

Paul Routledge, one of the most successful landlords in England and the founder of landlord referencing tells us about why tenant referencing is important, his journey as a landlord and the things he’d do differently if he had to start all over again.

Paul you are one of the big proponents of tenant referencing. Why do you think it’s important?

Because it’s the key to your investment. If a tenant doesn’t pay the rent or destroys your property what do you have?

Paul you have had a particularly unpleasant experience with one of your tenants when you were stabbed multiple times in the head. Yet you still continue to be a landlord and actively help other landlords to achieve success when most people would have just quit. What drives you?

Being stabbed in the head! I want to make sure that decent people who work hard, who are looking to secure their future and who are constantly let down and treated like second class citizens by government legislation are fully protected by working with us at Tenant Referencing UK. By working together we protect one another.

This is a question that I ask every experienced landlord. What are the most common that you see novice landlords making over and over again?What makes London an ideal place for international students?

Not crossing T’s and dotting I’s in initial paperwork, not photographing and diarising every conversation with a tenant and failing to reference properly (if at all).

Being among the most popular website for landlords, the landlord referencing forums get a lot of traffic every day. How do you manage to keep the discussions relevant and on topic for everyone involved?

We are a wealth of knowledge born from within our own community and as it grows so does the discussion. I probably have a news story every day relevant to something that has happened with one of my own tenants and with a community of 25,000+ landlords and agents we have a constant stream of new tenant alerts; so fresh stories continue to roll in organically. With Government having both its hands firmly around our necks throttling us all, of course there are so many more stories available in the public domain too!

What’s the idea behind “The Tenant Alert” feature in the landlord referencing website? Has it been well received by the landlords?

Yes, but it’s rather a novelty now – a bit like Grandad in the corner; not really doing much anymore – as the systems are all geared to let landlords reference in real-time. However just because Grandad has outgrown his unworldliness, no need to leave him out in the cold! It’s also quite humorous to see how many landlords try to use it just to save a measly £7!

Tenant referencing has been criticized a couple of times as being a “tenant blacklisting” website. How do you deal with these controversies?

I used to argue about it but got tired of it in the end. Most who believe this now simply have an agenda, so quite frankly it doesn’t matter what we say; they’ll never believe it.

Before founding landlord referencing and rent safe you’ve been a long time landlord with over a 100 properties in your portfolio. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Sell! LOL.

And lastly have you enjoyed your journey as a property investor. If you could start all over again would you do anything differently?

It was a good industry to be in, however like everything that is swamped with political intervention it has become a minefield of hypocrisies and legislative blind spots; therefore it’s not as much a pleasure as it used to be.If I could start all over again, I would probably invest more into individual dwellings and not so much into big blocks, because although they offer higher yields they come with a mass more problems.Thank you for talking to us Paul!



  • On March 25, 2016