Landlords face £100k in costs evicting rogue tenants

Jessica Nangle

August 15, 2019

household finances during pandemic

Landlords face costs of up to £100,000 when evicting rogue tenants, according to the latest research by independent letting and sales agent Benham and Reeves.

The research looks at the financial impact a rogue tenant can have on a landlord’s buy-to-let investment based on factors such as lost rent, mortgage payments with no rental income, and potential legal fees.

A rogue tenant reportedly takes around nine months to evict, which on average leads to over £6,000 worth of unpaid rent.

The research shows that nine months of mortgage payments due to a lack of rental income costs on average £8,412.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said:  “Rogue tenants are a landlord’s absolute worst nightmare and apart from the stress and time consumed dealing with them, the financial impact can be crippling.

“We’re not talking about a bad apple that doesn’t pay rent for the last two months of a tenancy and leaves a dirty protest on their way out.

“We’re talking about serious criminal organisations that know the letter of the law and every trick in the book to prevent you from getting rid of them, including how to stall the court date for weeks on end and how to deter the bailiff through threats of violence when they finally do call.”

Kensington and Chelsea saw the top cost of rogue tenants with nine months of a rogue tenant costing the landlord up to £100,512, which is 8% of the property value.

Von Grundherr added: “It’s an extremely deep-rooted issue that goes beyond the tenant, even as far as the bribery of the concierge and so you really are fighting from day one to get them out.

“That’s why we can’t stress enough how vital it is to rent via an agent who conducts the proper checks through a qualified third party who is trained to spot even the most convincing of forged documents. Failing to do so can cost you thousands, even hundreds of thousands to put right.”

This comes after previous research by Benham and Reeves found that the number of false applications being detected internally had seen a year-on-year increase of 117% in 2019 following the Tenant Fee Act 2019 which stipulated that tenants no longer need to pay if their application is denied.

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