Chat Support

Looking for Mortgages for Business? You're in the right place! Welcome to our new site...

Marion Money, South East representative for the NRLA, sits down with MFB to discuss her top tips for landlords, what she's learned as a landlord over the years, and her advice on navigating tricky legislation. 

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your properties – how long have you been a landlord, how many properties do you own, what kinds of properties do you own, and why did you first get into BTL?

I have been a landlord since 1974, the period of the Rent Act, rent control and regulated tenancies. Owning and renting properties was not an investment strategy—more like a liability. Rent increases were strictly controlled, gaining possession when needed was much more difficult, and tenancies could be passed on to other family members.

My family has always owned properties. My Grandfather was a builder, and he retained some of the properties he built. My husband was a developer, and in the late 1970s/1980s, we were buying properties at auction with a view to 'adding value'. Our strategy was that we had no strategy. We bought the properties on commercial bank loans, and with interest rates peaking at 17% in 1979, our decisions were defined by the properties we acquired in the auctions. The larger properties in town centres were ideal for converting to office space, which could be let on commercial leases. We acquired, renovated, and let these on long-term leases of 20 years.

I have a number of one-bedroom flats that I let at the Local Housing Allowance rate, together with commercial properties on full repairing and insuring leases. I even own a pub that I let to a well-known Brewer on a very long-term lease.

When choosing which properties to invest in, I prefer family homes; typically three-bedroom houses in quiet residential areas, as it’s rare for these 'family' properties to change hands. I even have tenants where the children have grown up and now rent from me independently. I take pride in knowing the tenants are confident that they have a home for life and look after the property in return. 

Three years ago, I lost one of my sitting tenants. She had been born in the property and was the same age as the late Queen Elizabeth.

In my early days of self-managing my rental properties, I discovered and joined the NLA. What a revelation. The regular newsletters came by post, packed with advice and information. By chance, after a conversation with an advisor, I was asked to work with them. That was in 2007, and I have not looked back since.

Now, in 2023, the NRLA (formed by the NLA and RLA merging) has a comprehensive website, regularly updated, that guides landlords through their entire property journey. I meet many landlords at the regular networking meetings that I organise and online as I guide landlords through the specialist training to become NRLA accredited - a symbol of professionalism in the sector.


What are your concerns with the current buy to let market?

In my view, the market is on a knife edge. The uncertainty over forthcoming legislation is stalling fresh investment. Furthermore, many landlords who entered the PRS following the introduction of buy to let mortgages in 1996 are now looking to retire. They have paid off their mortgages and loans and have not had to increase their rents to meet lender targets. As such, the supply of property in the rental market isn’t meeting growing demand.


And what positives are there to focus on?

For cash investors, there are plenty of opportunities to buy properties that are being sold by retiring landlords. Some of these could have existing tenants, and whilst this may sound excellent, it is imperative that checks and balances are carried out, and your conveyancing team acquire the correct paperwork.


How can landlords tackle tricky legislation like Section 21 and the wider Renters’ Reform Bill?

The Renters Reform Bill is the largest change to PRS legislation in over 30 years. For landlords, it is extremely important that they keep abreast of the changes as they develop. The NRLA is campaigning to protect the interest of landlords and is advising members of the changes through their Rental Reform Hub. Landlords will have to adapt, but the NRLA advice line will be available to support members with any queries or problems.


What’s your vetting process when choosing a tenant?

Tenant selection is key to managing your property. Remember, it doesn’t take long to put a tenant in the property, but it can take a considerable amount of time and expense to evict them if necessary.

I use a professional referencing company for the basic checks, such as employers’ references, previous addresses and history of County Court Judgments. I contact the previous landlord(s) myself and try to speak to them directly to get a 'feel' of their experiences with the tenant. 


What are your top tips when choosing a property to invest in?

Location, Location, Location!

Consider what is important for prospective tenants in the area you are investing in, for example, significant considerations could be parking and links to public transport. If you wish to lease to families, then they will be looking at proximity to schools and amenity areas.

For my part, I like properties that I can drive past fairly frequently. If the investment is out of the area, it is important that due diligence is done by the managing agent. It is also important to consider ongoing property maintenance and repairs. If you concentrate your properties in a set area, then you will have your team around you who can handle your compliance certification and respond quickly to any emergencies.

The age of the property is also important. Moving forward, landlords will have to consider the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property. Although there are no current legislative changes, tenants are looking for more energy-efficient properties – so it’s better to buy an energy-efficient property than tackle the required work to upgrade a property. A lot can be learned from fellow landlords at networking events, such as the local meetings hosted by the NRLA.


What advice would you give to landlords in the current market landscape?

Keep abreast of the legislative changes, maintain good communication with your tenants and encourage them to stay in touch with you in return. That way, if your tenant is struggling financially, you can signpost them to services that can help them at an early stage.


What would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learnt as a property investor over the years?

To be adaptable. From experience, it helps to have a diverse portfolio. Some of my early investments that were converted into offices are now being converted into flats. As housing priorities change, portfolios need to change with them.

Lastly, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that your property investment is still your tenant’s home. It should provide them with a warm, safe, healthy and secure environment.

The content above has been generously provided by Marion Money from the NRLA.
For more information on the NRLA, visit their website at

Found this useful?

Get more helpful blogs like this straight into your inbox in our free weekly newsletter. Subscribe here.

Talk to an expert

Our friendly experts would love to hear from you. Give us a call, drop us an email, or choose a convenient time for us to get in touch.

An error has occurred. This application may no longer respond until reloaded. Reload 🗙