Smaller landlords 'need more help in dealing with challenging tenants'

by Gary Whittaker

Smaller landlords are often having difficulty in dealing with issues posed by challenging tenants, and require more support from the government to address the problem.

This is according to a new report from the online letting agency MakeUrMove, which has indicated that a significant number of buy-to-let landlords are having to deal with problem tenants failing to pay their rent or causing expensive damage to their properties.

It was shown that 47 per cent of landlords have had issues with tenants who do not pay their rent on time, while around one-quarter of those surveyed have faced significant costs due to properties being left in a state of damage and disrepair when tenants move out. One respondent said they had to fix £16,000 worth of damage after a rogue tenant left a property.

This amount of damage far outstrips the sum of the deposit usually taken at the start of the tenancy and held in the government-backed Deposit Protection Scheme, which sometimes results in the landlord in question having to quit the private rented sector.

Meanwhile, 26 per cent said they had problems with tenants breaking items and refusing to pay, 16 per cent had to deal with individuals refusing to leave at the end of their tenancy, and 22 per cent said their tenants had invited extra people living in the property unauthorised.

It was also revealed that 98 per cent of landlords believe it is important to keep tenants happy, while 92 per cent say they have a good relationship with their tenants. However, the report suggests that many currently feel there is not enough support available from the government when things go wrong.

MakeUrMove managing director Alexandra Morris said: "Legislation is currently swinging towards tenants, at the risk of undermining the vital role played by private landlords in the UK housing market. Legislation such as the proposed deposit cap could make it even harder for private landlords to deal with challenging tenants, resulting in further pressures on landlords to sell up."

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11-May-18General Lettings News