Landlords learn on the job

One in five individual and multi-property landlords felt unprepared when they first started letting properties, research by Direct Line – Business found.

Out of those who didn’t feel ready, the most common areas they felt they were lacking in knowledge were drawing up tenancy agreements (59%), eviction rights (51%), public liability (49%) and tenant security deposits (49%).

Eviction rights (27%) and dealing with property damage (23%) are the top ongoing concerns for landlords, followed closely by changes to welfare regulation (18%).

Jamie Chaplin, landlord business manager at Direct Line – Business, said: “It’s troubling that so many landlords do not feel they’re prepared before renting out a property, and even more worrying that many aren’t concerned about improving their level of knowledge of legal and compliance issues.

“But there are signs for optimism. Many landlords are taking steps to improve their knowledge and are learning through experience, evidenced by most saying that they’ve improved their understanding of key issues such as tenant security deposits, tenancy agreements, property damage and getting good rental yields.

“However, something they do need to consider is the importance of protection – which can minimise some of the risks associated with a lack of legal expertise and knowledge.”

These knowledge gaps have persisted for many.

Nearly one in three landlords (28%) claim that they are not concerned about filling these knowledge gaps or seeking legal expertise.

However one in three landlords have personal concerns about legal compliance and regulation.

Some are taking steps to improve their knowledge by searching for advice online (38%), contacting their insurance company (26%), contacting a property expert or consultant (25%), seeking out legal advice (25%).