Survey reveals that families are good, reliable tenants, taking up less landlord time

Renting out a property to a family is less hassle for landlords in the UK as they take up the least amount of time in terms of property management, a new survey shows.

More energy efficient properties also take up less time but renting to tenants on benefits and migrant workers can take up to six hours more a week, according to the research from the National Landlords Association (NLA).

The research also shows that landlords in the North West and Yorkshire spend most time on property management while landlords in East of England and West Midlands the least.

The NLA asked landlords to estimate how much time they spent on property management, including things like dealing with tenant queries and property maintenance requests, and general business administration.

The research findings show that landlords who rent to families and young couples spend on average one full working day a week, some eight hours, on property management. In contrast, landlords who let to migrant workers, benefit recipients, or who have executive lets, can expect to spend up to 12 hours per week.

Regionally, landlords in the North West of England spend almost twice as much time per week at 10 hours managing their business than landlords with properties in the South East of England at five and a half hours.

Landlords with mortgages spend on average three and a half hours extra per week on property management compared to those who are mortgage free at eight and a half hours compared with five hours, a working calendar month extra per year.

Landlords with energy efficient properties, that is an EPC rating of D or above, spend two hours less per week on property management, the survey also found.

‘This data reinforces the fact that families make good, reliable, and long term tenants, but some landlords can be put off by the perceived risk of more damage or wear and tear to the property or its contents,’ said Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive officer.

‘However, if you’re properly maintaining the property then tenants will be more likely to stay for longer anyway, particularly families who typically seek more stability. This is just one more argument for establishing a proper maintenance schedule in the first place,’ he explained.

‘Landlords who rent to migrant workers or provide executive lets may find it takes up more management time because there’s a greater churn of tenants which means re-marketing the property, drawing up tenancy agreements, and conducting property viewings more regularly,’ he added.

The NLA also says that another big cause for concern is that those in receipt of benefits take up more management time for landlords. ‘The combination of welfare cuts and the introduction of Universal Credit make it difficult for some benefit recipients to keep up with rental payments and that often means taking more time for the landlord to manage. It’s frustrating for everyone because the issues can be outside the control of both tenants and landlords,’ Lambert said.