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According to the latest research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), incidences of arrears have fallen to their lowest level for over two years.
39 per cent of landlords have experienced instances of rental arrears in the last 12 months, down nine per cent year on year and back to levels previously seen in quarter one 2010.
Void periods in private-residential property have also fallen, down five per cent since last Quarter to 33 per cent, a low last seen in 2012.
At a regional level, voids are greatest in the North East of England where 60 per cent of landlords have experienced empty periods in the last three months and lowest in the South West of England where only 20 per cent of landlords have experienced voids over the same time frame.
The research results also established that seven in ten voids are unplanned. And landlords are covering the financial impact of voids using various means:
• 33 per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using rent from other properties
• 10 per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using their other income or salary
• Nine per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using funds from their savings
Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA, says:
“It is positive to see reductions in the instances of arrears and voids. This demonstrates that long term, enduring tenancies are on the rise as it is in every landlords’ business interest to maintain good, long lasting tenancies and avoid voids.
“However, it is worrying that void periods often come as a surprise to landlords. Whilst voids represent more of a problem in the North than in the South, where demand is far higher, it is imperative that empty properties are filled quickly, following any necessary maintenance and improvements.
“The NLA’s advice to landlords looking to minimise void periods is to talk openly with their tenants about their future plans. This will give the landlord some idea of when the property might next be empty and allow them to make any improvements and plan advertising activity in good time. It is also wise to budget for 11 months’ rent per year to avoid needing to find additional funds to cover outgoings if a void does arise.”
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