This survey looks at the experiences of landlords who let property to tenants who claim Universal Credit (UC). It shows that the experience of landlords in navigating the UC system remains problematic. The system, and not the client, is often the cause of rent arrears. The impact being that landlords become reluctant to let to tenants who require UC to meet their rent obligations. There is support among landlords for Guaranteed Rent Schemes, but more needs to be done to demonstrate competent property and tenant management.
RLA & external reports generated since 2013
Over the first weekend in May, the NRLA undertook its second survey of landlords examining the impact of the coronavirus on the Private Rented Sector (PRS). Over 4,500 landlrods responded. Landlords face reductions in rental income, extended void periods and difficulties in getting repairs done. Our members remain supportive of tenants, and receptive tovtenant requests.
The previous Landlord Confidence Index (LCI) showed confidence finally rising in the final quarter of 2019 – albeit from low levels. However, in Quarter 1 2020 – the fieldwork for which coincided with coronavirus lockdown – shows a picture of landlords coming to terms with new challenges and pressures. Well over half of all landlords (60%) were feeling “Less” or “Much less” confident than they did in the previous quarter – just over 6% felt “More” or “Much more” confident.
In March the RLA undertook a survey of its members examining how the Coronovirus crisis has affected them, their relationship with tenants and their property business. The survey finds landlords are nervous and feeling somwhat overlooked by government. There was however broad support for strands of the government's response.
The final State of the PRS report for 2019 looks at the investment landlords have made to meet the needs and expectations of their tenants. The survey also investigates attitudes to Good Landlord schemes and Property MOTs as a lighter-touch alternative to licensing. Finally, flooding dominated the news at the end of 2019. This report examines the issue of flooding in the PRS.
Whilst the 2019 Q4 Landlords' Confidence Index (LCI) shows some improvement in optimism, it is relative. The proportion of landlords feeling less optimistic continues to be greater than those feeling more optimistic. 2019 was a year in which landlords took a battering from the legislature, and 2020 is not yet likely to offer any respite.
The traditional view that the PRS should be a suitable home mainly for younger and mobile households is out of date. The duration of tenancies in the PRS is growing across age groups. So too is the profile of landlords. Research by the LSE looks at how these factors highlight the inadequacies of the current landlord-tenant relationship. There is an argument for reform, but only when backed up by proper enforcement.
In September 2019, the RLA launched its third quarterly survey of the year. This survey looked at issues related to tax, finance & the wider supply side of the Private Rented Sector (PRS). With the survey being launched at a time when a General Election was becoming a stronger possibility, the survey also asked landlords to comment on potential policy issues including "Right to Buy" and the promotion of energy efficiency measures.
The RLA, in association with the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), conducted research in Autumn 2019 focusing on the nation's recent Private Rented Sector (PRS) reforms. A survey asked Scottish landlords - and letting agents - their views on the reforms. The new system was given a cautious welcome: the on-line support for new tenancies was notably well received. However concerns about the changes to a landlord's right to regain possession continue.
This is the first full edition of the RLA's Landlord Confidence Index (LCI). The LCI provides a snapshot of the actions and likely future response of landlords to the current market environment. The LCI is drawn from a national (England & Wales) survey of around 2,000 landlords.