Buy to let investors in the UK are spending nearly £4.7 billion a year on their rental properties, an average of £3,134 each.
The figure comes from LV= General Insurance, which also warns that given the scale of spending by landlords, many are considering whether to stay in the sector as a result of slashed tax benefits and frequent regulatory changes.
“Add to that an uncertain political and economic outlook and it is little wonder over 600,000 (or 41 per cent of) landlords are considering selling their rental properties” the firm’s survey reveals.
Substantial spends by landlords include renovations and refurbishments (an average of £370), replacing or repairing the boiler (£370), fixing structural damage (£313), decorating (£265) and garden maintenance (£203).
Two-thirds of landlords say the carpets in their property are most likely to be damaged by tenants with walls, white goods and doors also high on the list.
Due to the actions of their tenants, landlords spend the most money on replacing or repairing flooring (£322), white goods (£298), or other items (£256), cleaning at the end of a tenancy (£178) and removing items that have been left behind by previous tenants (£149).
Across the UK, the costs of being a landlord vary between regions.
The area which has spent the most money on repairing damage made by tenants is the South West, spending an average of £3,461 on repairs. Whereas landlords in the North West on average spend the least on repairing damage, almost £1,000 less at £2,738.
Damage to a property and subsequent repairs can impact on the relationship between landlord and tenant and a third of landlords admit that bad tenants are the most challenging aspect of the job.
Although nearly half have never experienced a tenant dispute, almost a quarter have disputes at least once a year, with six per cent having them at least once a month.
The most common causes for tenant disputes are delayed rent, damage to property, cleanliness, disputes over bills or deposits, pets and sub-letting.
Meera Chindooroy, policy and public affairs manager at the National Landlords Association, says: “The government’s proposal to abolish Section 21 will intensify the impact that rent arrears and damage to property has on landlords’ ability to run their businesses successfully.
“On top of the costs which can be covered by specialist insurance, landlords will need to spend more time and money to regain possession of their properties. Seeking information, support and advice, for example through landlords’ associations, can be invaluable in reducing your risks.”