Private landlords sought to inform PhD research into behaviours and management practices

A PhD researcher at the University of Glasgow is undertaking research to better understand the investment behaviours of private rental sector (PRS) landlords, with a view to creating best practice guidance to support the sector.

Private landlords sought to inform PhD research into behaviours and management practices

Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson, who has worked in real estate, facilities management and residential property management for over 20 years, said his interest in the PRS is rooted in his experience as a landlord, letting agent, tenant and PRS researcher.

He told Scottish Housing News: “Landlords are often viewed as a homogeneous group. However, it has been my experience that landlords are a diverse group of individuals with differing motivations for renting property. There are those who intentionally entered the market and those who are accidental landlords, some have one property whilst others have thousands, and though most charge a market rent, many do not. These are just the headline differences, but many more exist.

“Landlords generally have two things in common. Firstly, their choices shape the location, quality, type and condition of PRS housing in Scotland. Secondly, their decision to buy or retain PRS property ties up significant capital (in most cases) that could be spent or invested elsewhere.

“Unfortunately, very little is known about the decision-making processes that lead landlords to acquire or, in the case of accidental landlords, retain PRS property over the alternatives available. Little is also known about the methods and tools that they use to support this decision. There are similar gaps in our knowledge of the performance management and risk management activities undertaken by landlords to help deliver their objectives.

“As a result, we are currently unable to determine the extent to which specific landlord behaviours and management practices impact PRS outcomes. To address these knowledge gaps, we have created an exciting research project, which seeks to better understand landlord financial behaviours and practices with a view to creating best practice guidance that landlords can use to support their PRS journey.

“In addition to supporting landlords, the research will benefit the sector in general by supporting sustainable investment patterns focused on quality housing.”

Private rented sector landlords are urged to take this 20-minute anonymous survey, with £200 of B&Q vouchers up for grabs.

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