What are landlords' biggest fears?

publication date: Aug 7, 2017
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What do the recent landlord and tenant surveys say about the market?

I've noticed a few landlord and tenant surveys hitting the press in recent weeks and thought it would be useful to summarise them for you:

Landlords reveal their biggest fears - Direct Line for Business
Taxation and economic uncertainty are now more of a concern than Brexit for many landlords. There are also concerns about increased regulation.

Christina Dimitrov, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business said: “It’s great to see landlord’s being resilient towards the ever-changing property marketplace and it’s really positive to hear they don’t appear to be worried about Brexit and the impact on demand.

The continued low interest rate environment can only benefit landlords and tenants. However, experts are predicting an interest rate rise in the future and the Prudential Regulation Authority’s tougher underwriting rules for buy-to-let mortgage lenders may bring some challenges for landlords wanting to expand their portfolios.”

Landlords adapt to new market as sentiments shift - BDRC Continental
Far fewer landlords are confident about their prospects than three years ago.

Andy Golding, Chief Executive Officer, OneSavings Bank, said: This April saw changes to tax treatment of BTL mortgages introduced, raising costs for many landlords. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) first round of changes to mortgage underwriting took effect from January, with the second; altering the way larger portfolio landlords are treated, set to come in to play in October. Against this backdrop, costs continue to rise, even before we factor in higher tax bills for many landlords. In the last report from our Buy to Let Britain Research Series showed that the annual running costs of a buy to let property have reached £3,632 – up a quarter since 2007.

"These factors are clearly beginning to drag on the growth of the sector; landlords have had to navigate the changing tides of taxation and regulation, at the same time as seeing the cost of doing business increase."

Landlords step up to tackle fire safety
More than half of private landlords have taken positive steps to check the fire safety of their buy-to-let properties in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Alex Huntley, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance said: “Fire safety is clearly on the agenda for landlords in the UK, with a little over half taking positive action in the last month alone. Landlords have a legal obligation to protect tenants under fire safety regulations, particularly those with large or shared properties.

Gas safety is also of paramount importance, and although on the whole the survey has shown a positive and responsible response from landlords, they must understand their obligations; fire and gas safety must never be left to chance.”

Confidence in future of property market amongst renters at all time low - The Urban Collective
Many renters now feel the property ladder is unscaleable with almost 30% of renters now never planning on buying a home.

Mayank Mathur, Cofounder of The Urban Collective, said: “Fifteen years ago, renting was a stop gap until people could save enough to buy. Today, owning a home is a long-term goal and in 15 years’ time it might just be an impossible dream. If we’re going to become a nation of ‘forever renters’ then clearly the experience has to improve. No wonder the thought of renting forever makes Brits so unhappy; to date the rental market has been lagging behind the customer service found in other industries and geared towards serving landlords, not the tenants. Having personally experienced this ourselves, we’re trying to prioritise tenants for the first time and revolutionise the rental experience, bringing it into the 21st century.”

Private landlords are out of touch with tenants - Upad
There is a huge disconnect between what tenants want and what private landlords think they want.

Upad founder James Davis said, “What tenants have said here is a very clear message that, generally, they're willing to pay more in return for flexibility from their landlord. It is clear that what tenants want is something completely out of sync with what landlords think tenants want. Maybe it is time for landlords to wake up and smell the coffee.

"While many landlords diligently stick to "no pets" rules or don't feel there's value in providing even white goods to their tenants, the evidence is there to suggest they could improve their yields by relaxing their stance on this and looking at what else tenants want.

"Though it remains essential for landlords to strike a balance to ensure their business is profitable, this data provides food for thought for all landlords. For experienced landlords who may have upheld the same rules for years, new landlords, or those looking to grow their portfolio in the near future, they may wish to consider how properties with a garden or designated parking can be far more attractive to prospective tenants.”

Here are some useful checklists which will help if you have experienced any of the issues mentioned above:

Buy to let tax - Nicholsons Chartered Accountants Top 10 tips for managing a successful let - Hunters How to ensure your rental property is safe - Bluewatch


You can also watch every epsiode of out online TV programme - The buy to let show:


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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