£9.9bn annual rent arrears and damage bill will put a fifth of UK landlords ‘out of business’

Eamonn Hogan
Eamonn Hogan

One in five UK landlords will be out of business in the next two years due to tax break cuts announced by the government, according to a new study.

The Annual Landlord Report, produced by Access Legal, found that UK landlords are subject to a £9.9 billion bill every year due to unpaid rent arrears and damage to properties, a 10 figure sum that could be damaging to buy-to-let businesses.

Around £4.5bn accounts for damage to properties, while £900 million is the price landlords pay to cover unpaid rental income. Respectively, every landlord in the UK is out of pocket by £6,600 covering these costs, every year.

The study also revealed how landlords feel about potential changes to legalities and immigration checks. 90 per cent of landlords stated that they shouldn’t be responsible for tenant immigration checks, a further blow to the failure of the government pilot scheme.

A third of landlords said they feel the law sides with tenants because of “extortionate upkeep costs, cuts to tax breaks and almost half of tenants not paying their rent arrears, even after court proceedings”.

Three quarters of buy-to-let investors also stated that they don’t feel money is safe with letting agents, and half of landlords have dropped their letting agents to save money and avoid safety issues.

Eamonn Hogan, solicitor for property at Access Legal, said: “We work with many landlords covering tenant and landlord disputes.

“The extortionate cost of being a landlord seems to be a figure that keeps growing. Many landlords are subject to damaged properties and rent arrears. The law doesn’t always side with tenants, but it’s a hard process for landlords to go through and a tricky legal system.”

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