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Research reveals UK landlords' maintenance costs run into thousands a year – how much should you budget for?

2-minute read

Research reveals UK landlords' maintenance costs run into thousands a year – how much should you budget for?
Mollie Millman

Mollie Millman

23 July 2019

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Looking after a rental property can be an expensive business for landlords – to help you plan ahead, the costs have been totted up to reveal how much you can expect to spend in an average year.

Of course, the final figure can depend on a range of different factors – anything from unforeseen emergencies like bathroom leaks to dealing with disruptive tenants.

Thankfully, there’s landlord insurance to protect you from some of those expenses.

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But it’s worth having an idea of a ballpark figure to help with future budgeting.

Latest research* suggests that a good figure to keep in mind is £3,134 a year per property.

What do landlords spend money on?

This is how much it costs on average to cover expenses like renovations and refurbishments, which come in at typically £370, according to the research.

Other costs adding up to this figure include repairing the boiler (£370), decorating (£265) and garden maintenance (£203).

The numbers also suggest that two thirds of landlords say the carpets in their property are most likely to be damaged by tenants (66 per cent), with walls (45 per cent), white goods (27 per cent) and doors (24 per cent) also high on the list.

For tips on keeping your property in good shape, read seven top rental property maintenance tips.

Regional differences

The cost of being a landlord varies between regions, with landlords in the South West spending the most money on damage caused by tenants. In this area of the UK they spend an average of £3,461 on repairs.

By contrast, landlords in the North West spend the least on repairing damage which, coming in at £2,738, is almost £1,000 less than in the South West.

Average amounts spent in other areas of the UK include:

  • The East of England – £3,315
  • London – £3,197
  • York and Humber – £3,156
  • Scotland – £3,146
  • The South East – £3,069
  • The West Midlands – £2,752

Read our article to find out where in the UK landlords do the best out of buy-to-let.

Running a successful buy-to-let business

Maintenance bills aren’t the only costs landlords now need to consider, as they begin to feel the effects of a recent onslaught of regulation changes.

Read more in 4 new buy-to-let tax rules landlords should know about for 2019.

Meera Chindooroy of the National Landlords Association said: “In recent years, landlords have faced a raft of haphazardly introduced new regulations which, compounded by tax changes, have increased the cost of letting.

“We have not seen any signs yet that the Government intends to pursue a more strategic approach to help landlords future-proof themselves.

“The Government’s proposal to abolish Section 21 will intensify the impact that rent arrears and damage to property has on landlords’ ability to run their businesses successfully.

“On top of the costs that can be covered by specialist insurance, landlords will need to spend more time and money to regain possession of their properties.”

Which costs of being a landlord have caught you by surprise? Let us know in the comments below.

*Figures taken from research by LV=.

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