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About Suzanne Smith, The Independent Landlord

Suzanne Smith with her macbook and a mug of tea
Photo by Bethany Lavin

Hello there!

I’m Suzanne Smith, aka The Independent Landlord, or indie_landlord on social media. I’m a self-managing landlord who shares advice on how to successfully navigate the challenges of being a landlord on The Independent Landlord and as co-host of the Good Landlording podcast.

I own the domain name theindependentlandlord.com, and everything published under The Independent Landlord Publishing umbrella.

In this post, I share my experience as a lawyer and landlord, before talking about The Independent Landlord website, weekly newsletter and private Facebook group, and the podcast Good Landlording.

My experience as a lawyer and landlord

Suzanne Smith at the inaugural meeting of Landlord Leaders
Suzanne Smith at a meeting of the Landlord Leaders Community organised by OSB Group in June 2023

I’m a landlord with a portfolio of Victorian houses in Maidstone, which I manage and let myself. Also, I’m an Accredited Landlord Member of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). For more information on my property portfolio, see my other website, Suzanne Smith Properties.

I originally qualified as a solicitor in a City law firm in 1994, before working as a business lawyer in the life sciences industry for 25 years, reaching the level of General Counsel and Company Secretary of a listed company.

When I left the corporate world to get more balance in my life after turning 50, I needed to earn an independent income. So I decided to invest in property, and started out as a landlord.

As well as being a landlord and a qualified solicitor, I have an MBA, and spent many years advising management teams on creating successful and sustainable businesses.

During my legal career, I saw how successful businesses have the needs of their customers at the heart everything they do. It’s no different for landlords. We also need to have the interests of our customers at the centre of what we do, our renters. Being a responsible landlord is good business. Especially when times are challenging, like they are at the moment.

This approach is also part of being ethical, and I’m delighted to have been an official member of Ethical Influencers since April 2023. Click here to find out what being an Ethical Influencer means. Here’s my profile on Ethical Influencers.

I’m a member of the Landlord Leaders Community, which is a membership group of individuals and organisations organised by lender OSB Group, focused on creating a fairer and more sustainable private rented sector. I am also a lay (independent) member of the tribunal team for Propertymark’s disciplinary panel, which conducts hearings when Propertymark has evidence of a member breaching their conduct and membership rules.

Co-host and co-founder of the weekly Good Landlording podcast

Richard Jackson and Suzanne Smith, co-hosts of the Good Landlording podcast, sitting on a sofa

I co-founded a weekly podcast in April 2024 called Good Landlording, which I co-host with Richard Jackson.

Each week we take a particular challenge for landlords to share practical tips to help landlords start, grow and succeed as a good landlord. It’s available on all podcasting apps, and has detailed show notes for each episode.

As seen in…

Article from The Times dated 19 April 2024 about letting agents fees and unfair terms

Suzanne Smith as speaker and guest on podcasts, YouTube, live Q&As and webinars

As well as co-hosting Good Landlording, I’m a regular speaker at events and guest on podcasts, YouTube Q&As and webinars, commenting on developments in the private rented sector, the practicalities and experience of being a landlord, and legislative change.

Here are a few examples of my recent appearances:

Suzanne Smith in the press and property magazines

I am regularly quoted in the press and in property magazine on topics ranging from leasehold reform and the Renters Reform Bill, to my experience as a landlord, the practicalities of being a landlord, letting agents, and legal issues.

Here is a selection of articles:

The Independent Landlord’s mission and publishing principles

I set up The Independent Landlord in August 2022 with a mission to provide free, reliable, independent tips and advice about both practical and legal topics that affect landlords and property related businesses. The sort of things I wish I’d been able to find out about when I first started as an accidental landlord, and when I began to scale my business.

I’ve been thrilled at the success of my blog since then, with nearing 5,000 active subscribers (May 2024). I think it’s because landlords are looking for independent, reliable, high quality content, during what is a huge period of change for the private rented sector. The testimonials on the Buy me a coffee page of The Independent Landlord show just how useful landlords find the website.

The advice and insights I share on The Independent Landlord are well-researched and impartial. The fact I’m not part of a lettings agency or another company providing services to landlords, and am not looking for investors or mentees, means the advice I share is independent. There’s no ulterior motive; I do it to pay forward and help other landlords.

I write all the content on this website and I do not accept guest posts. I built the website myself and do everything on the website. Any typos and broken 404 links are my own… Here is a link to my Affiliate Policy.

>> Related Post: How I’ve created The Independent Landlord

>> Join: The Independent Landlord Community Private Facebook Group

The Independent Landlord newsletter

I send out a free weekly newsletter on Friday mornings to over 4,000 active subscribers, who are a mix of property investors, landlords, lawyers, letting agents, service providers, local authorities and mortgage brokers. My newsletter has an average open rate of over 60%.

As well as including links to any new content on the website, there’s an exclusive news round-up that I don’t publish anywhere else. In the news round-up, I share what caught my eye in the week, and why it matters to property investors.

I’ve got a good track record of flagging things before the larger property websites. I guess this is an advantage of being a one-person band, and writing the newsletter first thing on the day it goes out.

If you’d like to sign up, you can subscribe by clicking here. I won’t spam you and don’t pass on any email addresses. You’ll also receive my free Manual for New Landlords ebook in your welcome email.

The Independent Landlord Community private Facebook group

Join The Independent Landlord Community private facebook group

In November 2023, I set up a landlord-only private Facebook group where landlords can ask questions, offer advice, and share their experiences in a supportive environment. I keep an eye on the discussions to make sure that people play by the rules, which include no selling. I’m happy to see it’s already growing into a community of almost 2,000 good landlords who help each other.

The group is for all landlords, regardless of where they are on their landlord journeys. From newbie to professional landlords. Come and join us!

>> Join: The Independent Landlord Community Private Facebook Group

Creating content and providing training for businesses

laptop with notebook with The Independent Landlord, Bespoke content creation services for businesses - blog posts, articles, training

Although all of my content on this website is free, I do charge businesses if they would like me to write content for them or provide training to their team or customers.

I offer a range of bespoke content creation and training services for property-related businesses. To find out more, click through to my Q&A on collaborations and my policy on quoting The Independent Landlord. You can also contact me direct here.

Supporting The Independent Landlord

Buy me a coffee - cappucino in blak cup
You can support The Independent Landlord by buying things after clicking on affiliate links and by buying me a coffee

All my content on this website is free. There’s no catch; it’s not a sales funnel. I run the blog on a shoe-string and do it all myself, from the building of the website to the ongoing SEO and content creation.

It’s a deliberate decision of mine to bring free no-strings, reliable information to the property community. Running The Independent Landlord is my part of helping others in what are challenging times in the private rented sector. I also enjoy it enormously.

Although the website, newsletter and Facebook group are entirely free, you can support The Independent Landlord in a couple of ways. However, there’s no obligation. I don’t currently have Google ads on the website (although that may change). I do have some affiliate links for specific products and services that I think are useful and of high quality. If you buy something after clicking on an affiliate link, you’ll be supporting the website as I’ll receive a small commission.

Another way of supporting the website is by making a small contribution towards the running costs of this website via my Buy Me a Coffee page. 😊

Disclaimer: I make general comments on legal, tax and financial matters on this website, but am not providing you with legal, tax and financial advice. You need to take your own advice for your specific circumstances, and must not rely on general tips and comments made on blogs. I exclude all liability arising from any losses arising directly or indirectly from actions you take or do not take after reading my blog. See my Terms of Use for more details.

NRLA Accredited logo - this means Suzanne Smith is an Accredited Member of the NRLA
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