The diversity of landlords operating in the UK, as evidenced by recent government data, means that there is an increasing need for alternative property management options. Online platform RentalStep says that due to landlords earning varying buy-to-let incomes, letting portfolios in a range of sizes and dedicating differing amounts of time to managing rentals, a middle ground in management services has been established.
The English Private Landlord Survey 2018, recently published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, shows a range of differences between the nation’s landlord population. The vast majority (94%) of private landlords let property as an individual, with 4% letting as part of a company and the remaining 2% as part of another organisation.
When it comes to the number of properties in landlords’ portfolios, 45% have just one property, 38% own between two and four properties and 17% own five or more properties. Showing that many landlords see buy-to-let property as an additional investment, just 4% surveyed said they became a landlord to let property as a full-time business venture.
What’s more, the typical landlord’s gross rental income (before tax and other deductions) is £15,000. Some 61% of landlords had gross rental income of less than £20,000, a further 26% reported between £20,000 and £49,999 and 13% reported a gross rental income of £50,000 or more.
The survey, which was the first of its kind since 2010, also calculated that landlords received 42% of their total gross income from rental property.
Mike Georgeson, founder and chief executive of RentalStep said, “As we can see from the government’s survey, landlords have different portfolio sizes and levels of income and this means they’ll have different needs when it comes to property management.
“In the past, landlords had only two options – to manage the whole process themselves or pay a high street letting agent to do it for them.”
“Thankfully, there are now a range of different options in between which allow landlords to choose which parts of the process they want to outsource and which ones they want to manage themselves,” he said.
Georgeson adds that these alternatives are hugely valuable at a time when the cost of letting a property continues to rise and legislation such as the ban on tenant fees is expected to put pressure on landlords’ finances.
“We can see that not all landlords earn a huge amount of income from letting property and that’s why they need the option of cheaper property management alternatives to traditional letting agency fees.”
“Many landlords have other jobs or business interests which means they may not want to spend a significant amount of money on management fees but also don’t have the time to manage the property themselves,” Georgeson, a landlord himself, explains.
“As the market has grown and evolved a middle ground has therefore been established with a range of options available to the modern landlord. “This is the reason why we launched RentalStep, a high quality, low cost and fair platform for landlords.”
RentalStep, which launched in 2017, is an online rental property management platform which allows landlords to advertise their properties on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation from just £35 per month.
Its premium service has a range of additional benefits for landlords, including full credit checks on all prospective tenants, rent collection, handling of maintenance issues, document storage, collection and registering of deposits, digital tenancy agreements and enhanced tenant referencing.