Half of all landlords in the UK expect their agent to pass on the costs of running their property after the draft Tenants Fees Bill becomes law next year, it has been revealed.
The research, which was completed by ‘deposit alternative’ start-up Reposit, also shows that letting agent fee increases are one of the most common unexpected costs among landlords, alongside repairs and renewal fees, and that a third of landlords have experienced paying costs they weren’t expecting.
But the research also reveals that increased fees are not the main reason landlords leave their agent. Of the 41% of landlords who told Reposit they had left their agent in the past, only 11% said it was over raised fees. Instead, customers service (61%) and bad property care (26%) irked them more and prompted them to find a new agent.
“With changes to buy-to-let legislation and a ban on tenant fees, landlord perspectives are more important to letting agent revenues than ever before and very little is known about UK landlords’ relationships with their letting agents,” the reports says.
But Reposit says the increased costs of being a landlord including the recent hikes in Stamp Duty and reductions in tax breaks, are forcing over a quarter of landlords to consider a cheaper agent – although poor service and a failure to deliver on promises are also key factors.
Reposit’s research, which was conducted among 600 landlords, also highlights how the UK rental market is heavily London and South East biased, with 52% of all landlords operating in these two markets. The next largest buy-to-let market is the North West, Reposit says.
It’s also a middle-aged activity. Over three quarters of landlords are aged over 45 years old, although there are few plucky young investors – 1.6% of landlords are aged between 18 and 24 years old. Reposit’s research also reckons there are two million landlords in the UK who own five million properties.