Almost half of landlords seeing increased demand for rental property

Almost half - 49%, of landlords believe demand for rental property from tenants has increased, shows the latest quarterly Landlords Panel research from BDRC Continental in partnership with the National Landlords Association.

The report shows that landlords tend to be happy in their profession – 78% feel positive about being a landlord – although that does not mean it is an easy occupation. 62% believe it has become harder recently, and only 8% agree that landlords are respected by the general public.

However, BDRC Continental’s research shows that landlords have fared well over the last three months. They are optimistic about the future, with 49% expecting demand to continue increasing and just 6% predicting a fall.

What’s more there are signs that rental property continues to be a popular investment, with a larger proportion of landlords expanding their property portfolio as opposed to reducing it.

Reflecting a cautious air of optimism, 10% have acquired more properties in the last three months, while 16% plan to do so in the next three months. Rising rents are also good news for landlords: 43% of those surveyed report a rise in rents in areas where they let properties.

Across the board, rents have risen by 4.7% and one in five respondents say they are making enough money to live on their rental income. A further 31% actually make enough profit to save some of their rental income.

A further 10% are breaking even and only 5% are making a loss. However, just over half – 52%, have experienced rent arrears during the last 12 months.

Mark Long, business propositions director for BDRC Continental, says: “As with other occupations, there are important regulations and responsibilities that go with being a landlord. These include major features such as the Tenancy Deposit Schemes and the Client Money Protection Scheme, that safeguard tenant’s deposits.

“Our research showed that almost two thirds of landlords taking part in the research are unaware or unsure of what the scheme is, although those using a letting agent for full management services are far more tuned into this significant initiative.”

He adds: “While low interest rates and lending criteria are key factors, advice from a third party is a major element in the choice of lender for 42% of respondents. 59% also agreed that they were open to the idea of BTL lenders providing broader advice to them as landlords. Frustrations in the life of landlords include rent arrears, void periods, poor public perception and the lack of a collaborative approach to providing housing by local authorities.”