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REVEALED: Shocking but true data behind landlord rent arrears and evictions

dluhc landlords survey

A staggering 71% of all landlords reported having at least one tenant in arrears due to the pandemic, according to the latest English Private Landlord Survey.

Nearly a third (29%) were lucky not to have any, but landlords with one property most commonly had either one tenant in arrears (67%) or no tenants in arrears (29%) while 15% of landlords with two to four properties and 38% of those with five or more properties had more than one tenant in arrears.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities' study of more than 9,000 landlords found that more than two thirds (67%) of those who evicted tenants or asked them to leave in the last year used a section 21 notice, while one in four (25%) used a section 8 notice.

Those who reported a tenancy ending within the last two years most commonly reported that it was because the tenant gave notice (47%), while for 30% it was because the tenant decided not to renew, and 16% said tenants had moved out before the end of the tenancy.


Only 6% asked the tenant to leave, 3% evicted the tenant and for 3% it was the end of the tenancy and they decided not to renew.

Landlords made a median rental income of �17,200 in 2021 - up from �15,000 in 2018.

The survey found that the median total market value of a landlord's rental portfolio was �410,000 compared to �400,000 in 2018. With a median age of 58, 95% of landlords identified as part-time and 46% of them chose to buy terraced houses - the most commonly let property type. Over half (57%) had a buy-to-let mortgage and nearly half (49%) did not use an agent.

When quizzed about their plans, nearly half of landlords (48%) planned to keep their portfolio the same size, 20% had not yet made plans, while 11% planned to increase their portfolio and 12% planned to downsize - representing 21% of tenancies.

Another 10% were going to sell it off - representing 8% of tenancies. Those who planned to decrease or sell all their rental property largely blamed recent or planned legislative changes such as the abolition of section 21 evictions.

Landlords were asked if they were aware of the new legal requirement that all tenancies have to have a minimum EPC rating of E and while nearly two-thirds (64%) understood the details, 22% were aware of the regulation but did not understand the details and a worrying 15% were not aware of it at all.

Reduced rent

The survey also found that almost one in five landlords (18%) agreed a new arrangement with one tenant or household, and a further 9% did this with more than one tenant or household - for more than half this consisted of reduced rent without anything in exchange (49%) or a deferred rent with a rent repayment plan (31%).

An NRLA spokesman tells LandlordZONE: 'The Covid pandemic put many tenants and landlords under pressure and this survey clearly shows that in the overwhelming majority of cases landlords responded positively to tenants seeking help. More broadly, the government should unfreeze housing benefit rates and ensure they properly reflect market rents as they currently stand.'�

Read the survey results in full.


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