As jobs go, being a landlord can carry a lot of stress. From navigating constantly changing laws, buying and managing multiple properties and tackling problem tenants, there's a lot to deal with. However, according to the latest research from The Mortgage Lender, property maintenance tops the list of issues that are keeping residential landlords awake at night.
The 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.
The most common issues reported by tenants were ovens, water leaks and boilers and November is the month that experiences the highest number of maintenance issues.
Top Ten issues keeping landlords awake at night:
1: Property Maintenance - 30%
2: Care of Property - 24%
3: Tenant behaviour - 23%
4: Taxation - 19%
5: Costs V Rental Income - 17%
6: Landlord Regulation - 13%
7: Collecting Rent - 11%
8: Finding tenants - 10%
9:Property Prices - 10%
10: Market Conditions - 9%
Peter Beaumont, The Mortgage Lender chief executive, 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 to replace while a basic oven will cost around £340. 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.
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.”