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March 18

by Millie Wickens
Buy to let costs landlords £3,571 a year for each home

According to new research, buy to let landlords shell out an average £3,571 for every property they rent out.

Repairs, maintenance and letting agent fees are the biggest expenses faced by landlords before mortgage interest and tax, says the study by Kent Reliance, a landlord lender.

Maintenance costs average £1,086 a year, while £935 is handed to letting agents.

Changes to the way profits are calculated and tax relief on mortgage interest is prompting one in three landlords to look at ways to cut their property business expenses by up to 30 per cent.

Nearly half (46 per cent) are looking at reducing what they spend on maintenance, 38 per cent are holding off property improvements, 29 per cent are hoping to reduce their mortgage outlays and 24 per cent  are targeting letting agent fees for savings.

Adrian Moloney, sales director of OneSavings Bank, the parent company of Kent Reliance, said: “The political discourse around the private rented sector has been one-sided to say the least.

“Overlooked is the significant economic contribution landlords make, supporting thousands of jobs through their spending and housing a large portion of the country’s workforce. Instead, landlords have faced punitive tax and regulatory changes, at a time when running costs are climbing.

“Policies that increase the cost and complexity of being a landlord don’t benefit tenants – quite the opposite. Property investors will seek to protect their businesses’ margins, whether cutting their spending on elements like property maintenance and improvement, or raising rents.”

The Kent Reliance report Tracking landlords’ costs and economic contributions believes that landlords contribute £16.1 billion to the economy from spending on their properties and also support thousands of jobs.

“Further intervention could prove counterproductive, with many landlords still coming to terms with change. A heavy-handed version of rent control that prevents them from absorbing rising costs, for instance, could prove to be a tipping point leading to a dwindling supply of rental homes,” said Moloney.

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