Rental arrears a worry for landlords

Findings from the December Upad Landlord Confidence Index show that 60% of residential landlords are more confident than last month, up from 54% in November.

404 landlords responded to the question, “Are you more confident or less confident about the buy-to-let market than you were last month?”

Increased rental demand is the biggest reason for this rise in confidence. Amongst landlords who said they felt more confident, comments included:

• Stronger and quality rental demand with cheaper availability to buy at super cheap prices – heaven.

• Demand is high; interest rates are low and looking to stay low!

• Voids are a thing of the past; there are so many tenants out there. Great for Landlords.

Of those who said they were less confident, a number mentioned increases in arrears and unpaid rent by their tenants. Comments included:

• More tenants are defaulting.

• Renters are beginning to default even more than usual.

• Worried about social tenants not paying again.

The lack of available finance is still hampering property investors: one landlord commented:

• Residential buy to lets generally make a 30% loss per year so without capital growth it is unsustainable.

Upad’s CEO, James Davis, said: “At Upad, we’ve seen tenant enquiries close to double in the second half of the year to what they were six months ago, and the unprecedented growth in tenant demand should be good news for landlords.

“But landlords don’t exist in a bubble: they’re held back by banks who just don’t want to lend money, and more than ever, are at the mercy of tenants who either can’t or won’t pay their rent. We can expect this situation to get worse as government cuts bite deeper.

“Landlords more than ever need to be vigilant about their cash flow and ensure that – if the worst happens and their tenant does stop paying – they have enough available cash to service a mortgage without their rental income.”