An online letting agent for landlords and tenants, claims that large numbers of private landlords are seriously considering ‘throwing in the towel’ and selling up because of rogue tenants that fail to pay their rent, damage and in some cases trash properties and ends up with them losing hundreds and thousands in lost revenues and repairs.

The online letting agent has recently commissioned a survey which has brought to light that half of the landlords that took part (47%) have encountered problems with tenants failing to pay their rent on time. Nearly a quarter of landlords have incurred high costs to rectify the damage caused when tenants vacated the properties.

One distraught landlord had to pay £16,000 to cover the significant repairs after a ‘thug’ tenant (rogue is too kind a word) finally left the property.

As announced in the Tenant Fees Bill recently, the tenancy security deposits will be capped at six weeks rent. Many landlords are extremely angry as tenant’s damage to the property in many cases costs significantly more than the deposit received at the start of the tenancy.

37% of landlords are extremely concerned by rogue tenants and 26% have said that they have had to pay for broken items themselves as the tenants refused to. A further 22% of landlords are worried that tenants will sublet without their permission and 16% have encountered serious problems with tenants who have ‘point blank’ refused to leave a property.

Alexandra Morris, managing director of the firm, highlighted that pointed out that 60% of landlords in England are ‘accidental’ or ‘casual’ landlords, those who have just the one property to rent out as a pension ‘top up’ or to increase their monthly income whilst working. She describes problem tenants as ‘challenging’ as they cause high levels of stress and financial pressures for ‘one property landlords’ which will put them off of investing further into the sector and they may just decide to sell up.

Alexandra Morris said: “Generally, as long 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, some landlords find themselves in trouble, and there’s very little protection offered from the government against these things.”

She continued: “Legislation is currently swinging towards tenants, at the risk of undermining the vital role played by private landlords in the UK housing market.

“Legislation such as the proposed deposit cap could make it even harder for private landlords to deal with challenging tenants, resulting in further pressures on landlords to sell up.

“Whilst landlords selling their properties may appear to offer some short term benefits for buyers, it cannot deal with the systemic problems surrounding the lack of housing supply.

“It will also reduce supply in the rental sector, which will increase demand and likely only increase pressures on the remaining landlords to increase rents.”

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