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The 2018 English Private Landlord Survey (EPLS) was released yesterday and is a national survey of landlords and letting agents who own and/or manage privately rented properties in England.It was commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).Here are some of the highlights:Most landlords operate as private individuals rather than as part of a company or organisation. 94% of landlords rent property as an individual, 4% as part of a company and 2% as part of some other organisation.While almost half of landlords own just one property, half of private rented sector tenancies are let by the 17% of landlords with five or more properties. 45% of landlords have just one rental property. This represents 21% of the private rented sector9 . A further 38% own between two and four properties (representing 31% of the sector). The remaining 17% of landlords own five or more properties, representing 48% of the private rented sector. Ignoring the methodological differences, since 2010, the proportion of landlords with just one property has declined from 78% to 45% or from 40% to 21% of the sector. Meanwhile, the proportion of landlords with five or more properties increased from 5% to 17% or from 39% to 48% of the sector.Landlords are, on average, older and less ethnically diverse than the general population. Most have been landlords for some time. Over half (59%) of landlords are aged 55 years or older. Not surprisingly, given the older age profile, a third (33%) of landlords are retired. The majority (89%) of landlords are White. 70% of landlords have let property for 6 years or more. The average (mean) length of time that landlords had let property was 11.5 years.Landlords most commonly reported that they had become landlords because property was preferable to other investments and/or to contribute to their pension. 46% of landlords became a landlord because they preferred property to other investments; 44% did so to contribute to their pension. Only 4% became a landlord to let property as a full-time business. Although 53% of landlords bought their first rental property with the intention of renting it out, 32% did so to live in themselves.Over the next two years, half of landlords plan to keep the number of rental properties the same, with similar proportions planning to increase the number of properties as those planning to decrease or leave the rental business. 53% of landlords planned to keep their number of rental properties the same, with 11% planning to increase the number of properties they own. This compared with 10% of landlords who planned to reduce the number of properties (representing 18% of tenancies) and 5% planning to sell all their rental property and leave the rental business (representing 5% of tenancies).Letting practices vary between landlords and agents. For example, agents are more likely than landlords to increase rent for a new tenant and for a tenancy renewal. They are also more likely to require a larger deposit. 50% of agents increased the rent for their last letting to a new tenant compared to 42% of landlords. For their most recent tenancy renewal 70% of landlords kept the rent the same compared to 63% of agents. A third (31%) of agents increased the rent for existing tenants, compared to 22% of landlords. For their last letting, 61% of agents took a deposit of more than four and up to six weeks' rent (45% of landlords took a deposit of this size). Almost half (47%) of landlords took a deposit of up four weeks’ rent (compared with 29% of agents).See - Ways to encourage tenants to stay longerThree quarters of landlords and agents were willing to offer longer tenancies of more than 12 months. 40% were willing to offer longer tenancies. An additional 38% of landlords and agents were willing to if there was a break clause in place to enable tenants and landlords to break the contract if required. Landlords and agents were asked what would encourage them to offer longer tenancies. They most commonly reported that they would if it was easier to remove problem tenants (70%).In most cases, landlords and agents report that it is the tenant’s choice to end a tenancy. Few tenancies end in eviction. 50% of landlords and agents reported that, in the last two years, they had ended at least one tenancy because the tenancy ended and the tenant did not want to renew. A quarter (25%) ended because the tenant had moved out before the tenancy had ended. Meanwhile, 7% of landlords and agents asked the tenant to leave, 7% evicted the tenant and 4% decided not to renew. The most common reasons for evicting, asking a tenant to leave or not renewing a tenancy were due to rent arrears (58%) or due to the tenant not caring for the property (45%).View the full Private Landlord Survey 2018What are your views on the survey findings, and what, if anything, surprises you about it?SEE ALSO - English Housing Survey 2018 - PRS insightsUP NEXT - Insider insights on "game-changer" PRS reportDON'T MISS - Change in landlord behaviour re: Ltd Co'sNOW WATCH:
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
John Stewart, policy manager for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), has commented on the EPLS as follows: “What emerges from the wealth of data out today is a picture of continuing improvement in affordability, security and standards for private tenants.
“The figures also debunk the myth that landlords are always increasing rents unreasonably and looking for every opportunity to evict a tenant.
“We recognise that whilst this data confirms that the vast majority of landlords enjoy good relationships with their tenants and want them to stay on long term, there are still too many unscrupulous landlords who bring the sector into disrepute and they should be driven out of the market.”
More landlord data coming out today:Average deposit value in England and Wales almost double Northern Ireland level
Despite the increasing number of tenancy deposits across the UK, the average value of deposits in England and Wales is almost double the level in Northern Ireland.
The findings were revealed by the UK’s leading tenancy deposit protection provider, The Dispute Service (TDS), which operates the Tenancy Deposit Scheme in England and Wales, TDS Northern Ireland and is the lead partner in SafeDeposits Scotland.In its latest Statistical Briefing report, TDS found that the average deposit in England and Wales in 2018 was £1,110, while in Northern Ireland the average was £587. The Scottish average sits in the middle ground at £675 for 2018.Across the UK, the average value of tenancy deposits rose year-on-year by; 2% in England and Wales, 1.5% in Scotland, and by 1.4% in Northern Ireland.As well as the average values increasing, the number of tenancy deposits protected has also risen year-on-year across the UK. In England and Wales, the number of protected deposits rose by almost 1.6% (from 3,691,242 to 3,748,725), while in Scotland an additional 9,441 deposits were registered between 2017 and 2018 (an increase of nearly 4.7%).Northern Ireland experienced the largest growth in the number of tenancy deposits protected between 2017 and 2018; an 8.97% uplift (from 49,102 to 53,510).Commenting on the report’s findings, its author, Steve Harriott, Chief Executive Officer at TDS, said: “While the report highlights broad differences between the constituent countries of the UK, it hides more local disparities. For example, the average deposit value in England and Wales does not reflect the difference between central London and areas with lower average deposits.“The report does, however, demonstrate that the private rented sector is continuing to grow, with an increase in the number of deposits protected and their value across the UK. There are, of course, a number of reasons behind the growth, but as the sector expands, we continue to see the numbers of deposits protected increasing.”The Statistical Briefing report is now available to read online.
Cash value of the deposit is a pretty irrelevant statistic in my opinion - the average number of weeks rent it represents is the only meaningful measure.
DISCLAIMER just my personal opinion - for legal advice consult a qualified professional grown-up.