Millions of ‘accidental landlords’ facing avoidable home repair bills, research finds

accidental landlords

There are two million ‘accidental landlords’ in the United Kingdom who are set to foot £5.9bn in avoidable repair expenses this year, according to a HomeServe commissioned survey.

‘Accidental landlords’ refers to an expanding group of people, who never intended to become landlords but found themselves in this unexpected position due to factors such as inheriting property or being unable to sell their own homes.

This discovery has raised questions about the lack of preventive measures and home maintenance know-how among this group of homeowners, a statement has said.

Contrary to the assumption of seamless property management, the study reveals that both intentional and accidental landlords find themselves inadvertently burdened with exorbitant repair expenses. For the 16% of UK homeowners also serving as landlords, nearly 74% have encountered urgent issues in their rental properties.

When asked about the most common problems they faced, 31% of respondents said boiler issues, 29% reported heating problems and 28% reported plumbing woes. A further 27% said leaks and 22% admitted to electrical issues.

The survey indicates that 64% of landlords feel confident in addressing these problems on their own. However, it’s noteworthy that 54% of ‘accidental landlords’, are less likely to feel self-assured than 71% of professionals. But regardless of their confidence level, 95% landlords have incurred costs associated with fixing unexpected maintenance issues in the last year. On average, they spent £3,194 to resolve these issues in their rental properties.

Liam Sharkey, service excellence coach at HomeServe, said: “The staggering repair costs and lack of preventative measures unveiled by this survey underscore the urgent need for greater awareness and support for accidental landlords.

“Their challenges not only impact their finances but also have far-reaching implications for the broader housing market. We must address this issue to ensure a more secure and sustainable rental property landscape in the UK.”

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