Research from tenancy and property management firm London Shared found that 76% of landlords believe their tenants do not understand their own responsibilities as renters, and cause 10% of landlords to develop anxiety issue due to their tenants’ behaviour.
For many landlords, the demands of their tenants means they are on-call for 24 hours of the day, with 34% of landlords receiving calls in the middle of the night from renters, with minor issues for call outs ranging from unblocking drains (23%), lost keys (19%) and changing a light bulb (13%).
Top five minor issues landlords are called out for:
1. Unblocking the drain (23%)
2. Lost keys (19%)
3. Turning on the heating (14%)
4. Changing the light bulb (13%) // Changing a fuse (13%)
5. Mowing the lawn (7%)
Regulations mean that 43% of landlords are unclear on what their current responsibilities are when it comes to repairing their property.
Despite a surge in recent years in the number of landlords turning their properties into HMOs, only 24% of landlords are clear on their legal responsibilities for adequate HMO licensing, and their need to apply for an HMO license (18%).
The survey, which polled 500 British landlords, further revealed that landlords are spending an average of 11 hours a month managing their property, and 83% spending of up to £5,000 per year on property repairs for their rental home.
The research suggests that a major source of landlords’ stress is likely due to the fact that 40% are receiving their rental payments late. Of those receiving late payments, 18% have ended up defaulting on their own bills.
Additionally, when looking at those that have received late or missed payments from tenants, a further 11% are unable to pay off their existing debt, and 6% have even had to take their children out of school (6%) as a result. An additional 22% have also undergone a costly court process to obtain the money owed to them by tenants.
The survey findings highlighted that many landlords are dependent on their rental income to pay off their mortgage (50%), children’s school fees (13%), and renovate their rental property (23%).
Some tenants are causing such severe problems for landlords that 24% have had to serve a notice to their tenants. Of those who have had to serve notice to troublesome tenants, the main reasons cited were rent arrears (69%), damages to the property (44%) and inappropriate behaviour (24%). Further reasons include subletting without consent (18%) and using the property for illegal purposes (11%).
Yet despite it being illegal to live in the property once the eviction warrant is served, 44% of tenants who had been served the warrant refused to leave, with the process of eviction taking between 6-8 weeks (25%) causing a huge amount of financial pressure on landlords. As a result of the pressure, 13% of landlords wish their property was managed by someone else.
Jake Willis, co-founder of London Shared, said: “The role of a landlord can be a full time job but eight in 10 (81%) of British landlords are juggling a second job to make ends meet. Many property owners do not realise the amount of money, time and care required to be a landlord and as a result they feel constantly under a huge amount of pressure.
“For those who are looking for a more hands-off approach, we recommend using property managers who can become the day to day point of contact for your tenants, and in turn alleviate some of that stress and responsibility placed on landlords.”