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Property maintenance keeping landlords up at night

Posted Monday 14th of October 2019
BIG QUESTIONS DESERVE BIG ANSWERS

Property maintenance tops the list of issues that are keeping residential landlords awake at night according to a special report ‘Buy to Let: The Landlord Experience’ from The Mortgage Lender.

Its research among a panel of landlords found tenant behaviour, care of the property, taxation and finding tenants also made it into the top ten worries of property owners.

One in four landlords said they weren’t experiencing any issues that were keeping them awake at night while only one in 50 was concerned about enhanced underwriting for portfolio landlords and one in twenty cited Brexit as a worry.

Three in ten landlords said property maintenance was their main concern, which is unsurprising given the average property has four maintenance issues in a year with one in ten properties experiencing seven maintenance issues in a year (2).

The most common issues reported by tenants were ovens, water leaks and boilers and November (2) is the month that experiences the highest number of maintenance issues.

The Mortgage Lender chief executive Peter Beaumont said: “It’s not surprising landlords are being kept awake at night by maintenance issues. The most common problems can be expensive to fix eating into profit margins that have already been eroded over the last few years by changes to taxation and the fees landlords are able to charge tenants.

“A mid-range combination boiler will cost around £1995 (3) to replace while a basic oven will cost around £340 (4). And problems with the plumbing soon add up with the average call out fee at £70 and cost to fix a dripping tap at £90 (5).

“The new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which came into force on 20 March has further highlighted the need for landlords to maintain their properties. Failure to do so could result in court proceedings where the tenant could be awarded damages if the property does not meet the standards required by the Act (6).”

Top Ten issues keeping landlords awake at night

Property Maintenance 30%
Care of Property 24%
Tenant behaviour 23%
Taxation 19%
Costs V Rental Income 17%
Landlord Regulation 13%
Collecting Rent 11%
Finding tenants 10%
Property Prices 10%
Market Conditions 9%

The Mortgage Lender is an intermediary-only mortgage lender. It provides real life lending choices for a wide range of borrowers including employed, self-employed, those with impaired credit, lending into retirement and buy to let investors.

In 2019 it has launched expat buy to let, Help to Buy residential mortgages, its first buy to let fees assisted remortgage product and completed its first UK mortgage-backed securitisation of residential assets for a total notes issuance of £238.5m.

Download the full report

By Sarah Learoyd , of The Mortgage Lender

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