Client demand and void periods most likely to cause sleepless nights
With news headlines often providing contradictory stories as to the positivity of UK landlords, Upad.co.uk, the UK’s largest online letting agent, has conducted research to uncover what issues really concern them.
Conducted amongst a representative pool of different types of residential landlords, as well as amongst those with differing sizes of portfolio, the research sought to learn whether the headlines really were what kept landlords awake at night.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, tax measures and regulatory changes dominated the poll’s findings. However, significantly, the data revealed that a fifth of landlords saw levels of client demand as their primary concern.
Claire Rostron has been a landlord for over eight years and corroborates this finding: “It’s important as a landlord to feel confident that you’re not only able to let your property out and generate an income, but that you attract the right type of tenant. Interest from unsuitable tenants can be as frustrating as too little interest.
“Being in control of client demand, which I have been since letting through Upad, and managing the quality and suitability of my tenants has been one less thing to worry about.”
Encouragingly, however, despite these concerns, an overwhelming 66 per cent of landlords had no intention of changing their portfolios in the coming two to five years, suggesting that many headlines were there to simply grab attention.
What was revealing though was that of those planning to continue in the buy to let market, an overwhelming majority felt that managing and mitigating void periods would be the factor most likely to keep them awake at night. 13 per cent cited this as quite important, whilst a resounding 74 per cent claimed it would be a very important consideration moving forward.
Laura Dawson a part-time landlord with six properties, agrees with this: “Recent tax changes have made many landlords question their future in the sector. I’m, however, viewing my portfolio as a long-term investment strategy so have no immediate plans to change anything.
“However, what is often of more concern, is the impact that is felt between tenancies when a property is delivering no rental income. The market is currently very buoyant so this is less of a concern right now, but that can change at any time and when a property does stand empty, the landlord starts to rack up costs.
“The longer a property takes to let, the less attractive it becomes to prospective tenants, not only because it drops further down the listings, but also because it becomes perceived as ‘unpopular’. Quickly securing quality tenants is, therefore, vital.”
James Davis, founder of Upad.co.uk and himself a landlord, concludes:
“It’s easy to assume that landlords are most troubled by the big issues of the day, those topics which the industry and media become all-consumed by. Whilst these issues clearly do concern landlords, it is often the more mundane aspects of renting a property that have an impact on how a landlord chooses to manage his or her portfolio to reduce the stress-levels associated with doing so.
“We work closely with our landlords to ensure that we provide them with the tools to make the management of their property portfolio easier. We can’t change the tax regime, but we can deliver market-leading technology that allows landlords to quickly identify the right tenant and successful let their property – we believe this research demonstrates just how vital this is.”
The research was conducted amongst Upad’s own database of registered landlords during August 2017.