property investors working from home buy-to-let

Myth-busting buy-to-let: majority of tenants have ‘good’ landlords

Buy-to-let landlords sometimes get a bad rap in the media, but new research shows that relations between tenants and owners are actually in good health. 

For scores of property investors, letting out a property or properties over a number of years is a significant part of what makes a profitable investment. Even for those who opt to use a letting agent and management company to take care of the bulk of the work on the rental side, there is plenty the investor can do to maximise their success.

Having a good relationship with your tenants has plenty of benefits for buy-to-let landlords. As well as making life easier, happy tenants are more likely to pay rent on time, take care of the property, and feel comfortable reporting any issues – which can be better for the rental in the long run.

And it seems that the majority of UK tenants have a better relationship with their landlord owner than many would have thought. A new report from Aldermore has revealed that more than two thirds – 69% – of tenants have a positive relationship with their buy-to-let landlord.

According to Aldermore, taking the UK private rented sector as a whole, this amounts to around 5.2 million renters who say they have a “good” landlord, which is a hugely positive outcome for a sector that is often heavily criticised in the media.

How buy-to-let landlords can improve relations

For property investors who are either considering entering into the buy-to-let space, or are already involved but want to maximise their chances of success, the survey revealed certain factors that are high on the agenda when it comes to tenant satisfaction.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, effective communication between tenant and landlord is paramount. Of the tenants that reported the best relationship with their landlord, 70% said that ease of contact was the thing that they valued the most.

Being available to contact, and responding quickly to messages and requests, can make for happier tenants, so this is something buy-to-let landlords should prioritise. If you prefer to run your rentals through a management company, selecting one that offers strong communication credentials can be important.

Having a straightforward and easy rental process, with minimal paperwork, was what stood out for 41% of renters who have a strong relationship with the property owner. The same amount of tenants (41%) said that having the freedom to make cosmetic changes to the property gave them the greatest satisfaction with their landlord.

Exceptionally high demand in UK rental market

The UK buy-to-let market has been experiencing extremely high levels of tenant demand in recent years, and many industry bodies continue to call on the government to do more to support the sector and create opportunities for more rental accommodation to house tenants.

This is reflected in Aldermore’s research, which found that almost three quarters (74%) of private tenants are struggling to find suitable property at the moment, with the same number saying that “intense competition” for homes was the main factor, believing they are now competing against more people for properties.

Seven out of 10 tenants said that this had led to their property search taking longer, while a further 68% said they had ended up paying more than they’d initially intended as a result of this pressure to find a home.

While this puts pressure on many renting households seeking buy-to-let homes in the UK, for landlords it can also mean greater stability, as tenants are more likely to stay put for longer in this environment – particularly if they have a good relationship with the property owner.

Ultimately, this can not only increase rental yields, but can mean keeping hold of good tenants for a longer period of time.

“Abundance of good landlords”

Jon Cooper, head of mortgages at Aldermore, said: “The relationship between landlords and renters is often presented as inherently challenging and dysfunctional, but as our research shows, this simply isn’t the case. Most private renters actually have a positive relationship with their landlord. I expect that this will surprise quite a few people.

“What it demonstrates is the abundance of good landlords in the market who are ethical, knowledgeable and trustworthy when dealing with their tenants.

“That being said, it’s also clear that a majority of renters are struggling to find the right home due to intense demand for properties. There’s no overnight solution to fix this sadly.

“At Aldermore, we encourage lenders, landlords and governmental bodies to work more intelligently together so we can turn the tide and provide greater support to struggling renters. This support is vital in order to keep our private rental sector, which is fundamental to the addressing the UK’s housing demand, alive and well.”

BuyAssociation has access to a wide range of property investment opportunities for buy-to-let landlords as well as owner-occupiers across some of the UK’s most in-demand locations. Get in touch today for more information.

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