A new report by the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) has revealed worrying gaps in landlords’ knowledge – while also highlighting the importance of good letting agents.
Complying with rental regulations is critical for anyone renting out properties, but the survey found that 70% of landlords have trouble keeping up with new rules – and even once they find advice, over a third said that it is inconsistent and difficult to understand. Many reported that they only went looking for information when a problem had already arisen, leaving themselves at risk of breaking the law.
Many landlords take a reactive approach elsewhere too. While most did a condition survey before renting out a property, only 46% scheduled proactive inspections and maintenance during tenancies, with most relying on the tenant to report issues.
Meanwhile, fewer than half of the landlords surveyed were setting aside money for repairs – and only 30% were factoring repair costs into their monthly cashflows. Meanwhile, 59% said that they recently had trouble finding the money for maintenance.
Lessons for letting agents
When landlords lack the time or expertise to keep their properties compliant and in good condition, expert letting agents can keep them up to date on their legal obligations and help arrange and plan for maintenance. As the report points out, advice from letting agents can be hugely important in improving standards in the private rented sector.
But the report also highlights why some landlords choose to go it alone. CaCHE asked landlords who had previously worked with agencies why they chose to switch to self-management. The biggest reason, given by two thirds of landlords, was that they still had to sort out problems themselves despite having an agent. Over half also reported poor communication from agents, as well as having to chase up their agents to get things done. If agents automate their admin and spend the time saved working with clients, it could be a huge boost to customer retention.
Other landlord headlines
Landlord survey: who’s staying in, and who’s selling up – LandlordZONE
Landlords accused of discrimination by charity and council – Letting Agent Today
Landlord profits will slump to just £7 – The Telegraph