Buy to let property investors are suffering under problem tenants who fail to pay their rent on time, according to a new survey from online letting agents MakeUrMove.
47 per cent of landlords surveyed by MakeUrMove said that they had issues with late payments from tenants. A quarter of landlords also said that they faced large bulls when tenants left properties in a state of disrepair following a tenancy. Many were forced to pay thousands of pounds to repair properties after a tenant has moved out. One landlord reported a bill of £16,000.
Landlords argue that the damage caused by tenants outstrips the the deposit usually taken at the start of the tenancy and held in the Government backed Deposit Protection Scheme.
MakeUrMove argued that this pressure is affecting landlords who have good intentions. 98 per cent of landlords believe that it is important for landlords to make their tenants happy. 92 per cent believe it is important to have a good relationship with their tenants. Despite this, but 37 per cent of landlords say that their key worry is problem tenants.
Smaller landlords are arguably more affected by problem tenants. 60 per cent of landlords are either ‘accidental’ or ‘casual’ and only have one property and rent it out to supplement their income.
MakeUrMove managing director, Alexandra Morris, explained: ‘As these landlords make up the backbone of the British property market, it’s important they feel happy to carry on letting. Stress and financial pressures caused by challenging tenants is a sure fire way to put them off and steer them away from further investment. This could also be a real worry for smaller landlords when it comes to cash flow.’
He continued: ‘Generally, as long the rent is coming in every month to cover mortgages and other associated costs, smaller casual landlords don’t often plan for bigger costs caused by damage from tenants or lack of funds due to unpaid rent. As a result, when a big outlay comes around, some landlords find themselves in trouble, and there’s very little protection offered from the government against these things.’
Landlords also faced several other issues, including 26 per cent seeing tenants break items and refuse to pay. 16 per cent suffered with tenants who refused to leave at the end of their tenancy. 22 per cent had problems with extra people living in their property who are not on the tenancy agreement.
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