Amateur landlords struggling with arrears

Sarah Davidson

July 24, 2012

The latest research from BDRC Continental’s independent Landlords’ Panel survey reveals the proportion making either a small or large loss has doubled from 8% in Q1 2012 to 16% in Q2.

Those with more properties fare far better: 40% of those with 5-10 properties, 69% of those with 11-19 properties and 68% with 20+ in their portfolios make a profitable full time living from letting.

In Q1 the report identified a fall in rental arrears for the first time in a year; by Q2 the trend had reversed bouncing back to 49% from 45%.

Almost one in ten single property landlords (9%) experienced voids in the last three months that lasted just over two months or an average of 69 days.

A future concern for all private landlords is that the Q2 data points to a third consecutive decline in perceived tenant demand with a continued shift from ‘increasing’ demand to ‘no change’.

At present more landlords are experiencing demand than seeing it decline (net position +27%) but this emerging trend could suggest more trouble on the horizon.

Mark Long, director for BDRC Continental, said: “It is a tough time to be a private landlord if you have only one property in your portfolio. Over the last quarter profitability has clearly taken a dive.

“Regardless of their size there is no question the private rental sector relies on private landlords and whilst a third may aspire to increase their property portfolio, they will only be able to achieve this goal and add to Britain’s privately rented housing stock if they can make a profit from that one property.”

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