Buy-to-let landlords keep benefiting affordability

The truth about Manchester landlords revealed in new study

Being a buy-to-let landlord can be a hugely rewarding and lucrative business, and a recent study has revealed the positive side of owning rental property in the north-west city of Manchester, as well as some of the difficulties.

Keeping tenants happy is a major priority for 97% of landlords in Manchester, according to research from online letting agent MakeUrMove, and the same number said that they believes they had a good relationship with their tenant, which is great news for the lettings market in the city.

A quarter of the landlords surveyed revealed that they updated items in their rental properties for the benefit of their renters, proving that the focus for most is on much more than just making money.

The survey also found that more than half (55%) of Manchester landlords are casual or “accidental” landlords, meaning they only rent out one property – often one they themselves have lived in – in order to generate some extra income. With yields in the city, and the north-west in general, performing more strongly than most other parts of the country, it is a hugely popular location for property investors and landlords.

The city is also a top choice for renters, with more young professionals than ever moving to Manchester from London as the job market in the north improves and affordability makes it a more attractive option.

Little protection from government

However, a small number of landlords (around a third) admitted that they had thought about selling their rental properties in recent times due to issues with tenants, including unpaid rent and damage to the property, with almost half (48%) having experienced instances when their tenants fell behind on rent.

Around a fifth of landlords reported that they had had tenants who had refused to leave at the end of their tenancies, and 28% had found that extra, unauthorised people were living in their properties. Although these cases are still in the minority, they are potential dangers that buy-to-let landlords should be aware of and possibly think about insuring against.

MakeUrMove managing director, Alexandra Morris, said: “Generally, as long as the rent is coming in every month to cover mortgages and other associated costs, smaller ‘casual’ landlords don’t often plan for bigger costs caused by damage from tenants or lack of funds due to unpaid rent. As a result, when a big outlay comes around, these landlords find themselves in trouble, and there’s very little protection offered from the government against these things.”

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