“So tell me, am I your typical landlord?” was the question once of my multiple property landlords asked me earlier this week. Well how do you answer that one?
I tactfully said that landlords come in all different shapes and sizes ..... metaphorically speaking ..... and then went on to share a few common landlord traits.
Number of properties owned
The vast majority – 95% + – of landlords only own 1 or 2 rental properties with only 1% of landlords owning 25 or more properties.
How properties are financed
Over 50% of rental properties are bought with the help of a mortgage either by the landlord taking out a buy to let mortgage (38%) or by the remortgaging their own home (14%). A further 28% of rented properties are owned by landlords outright.
The proportion of landlords owning their properties outright has increased considerably since the financial crisis of 2007/08 as mortgages became more difficult to come by. I would expect this trend to continue given the recent tax changes to mortgage interest relief.
How many landlords use a letting agent?
About two thirds of landlords use a letting agent either to fully manage their properties (28%) or to find tenants for their properties (34%). The remaining landlords manage their properties themselves.
Over time, the propotion of landlords using letting agents has increased as the regulatory enviroment has increased. I would expect this to accelerate as more and more regulation is introduced especially as the property ‘police’ are given more powers and money to ensure this regulations.
How good are landlords at doing essential safety checks?
Simple answer is ‘Could do better .... much better in some instances’!
More than 90% of landlords say that they do essential gas safety checks but less than 70% say that they do essential electrical safety checks .... the ‘true’ results are likely to be far less appealing!
Interestingly though, the safety checks that have needed to be done for longest (gas) as the ones that most people say they so, over time, lets hope the other check catch up!
Most common problems with rented properties
Basically mould, damp and poor insulation/excessive cold with these three reasons being the most common by a ‘country mile’.
Interesting to note is that gas issues are far less common than electrical issues which may well be explained by the higher level of gas safety check that are being carried out.
Age of landlords
Basically landlords are between 40 and 70 years old – landlords in this age bracket make up 86% of landlords.
Also, the majority of landlords are male.
Occupations of landlords
This is fascinating. 25% of landlords are property investors, a further 24% are business owners and further 18% are pensioners. So that means that more than two thirds of landlords are in these three categories of occupation.
Outside these three occupations, landlords are fairly evenly split with no other occupation having more than 5% of landlords.
So, was my landlord a typical Edinburgh landlord?
Well, broadly yes. He was a mid 50%’s male business owner who had two buy to let properties partly funded by buy to let mortgages. The one area he bucked the trend on was the safety stuff because, as he used The Key Place as a letting agent, he was completely on top of all this stuff.
Are you a typical Edinburgh landlord?
Let me know by calling me on 031 603 4570 or emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org.