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UK landlords spend £4.7 billion a year on their rental properties

Landlords in the UK are spending nearly £4.7 billion a year on their rental properties (an average of £3,134 each), according to new research from LV=General Insurance (LV=GI).

The time and cost involved in managing properties has become so great that over 600,000 (41%) landlords are considering selling up.

Cost of being a landlord


Data from LV=Gl revealed the average landlord spends over £3,000 a year on general maintenance. Costs include: renovations and refurbishments (£370), replacing/repairing (£370), fixing structural damage (£313), decorating (£265) and garden maintenance (£203).

When citing which factors of their rental property would be damaged by tenants, carpets (66%), walls (45%), white goods (27%) and doors (24%) appeared high on the list. As such, landlords spend the most money replacing/repairing flooring (£322), white goods (£298), other items (£256), cleaning at the end of a tenancy (£178) and removing forgotten items (£149).

While these accidental damage costs may be covered by landlord insurance, the research found that one in eight (13%) currently don’t have the right insurance in place, which puts them at risk of losing out on up to £3,000 a year.

Regional costs

Across the UK, the costs of being a landlord vary between regions. The South West saw the most money spent on repairing damage made by tenants (£3,461), whereas landlords in the North West spend the least on repairing damage (£2,738).

Total amount spent by each region on repairs

South West


East of England




York and Humber




South East


West Midlands


North West


Tenant disputes

A third (34%) of landlords admitted that bad tenants are the most challenging aspect of the job. Although 46% have never experienced a tenant dispute, almost a quarter (23%) have disputes at least once a year, with 6% least once a month.

The most common causes for tenant disputes are delayed rent (43%), damage to property (41%), cleanliness (33%), disputes over bills or deposits (10%), pets (9%) and sub-letting (7%).

Heather Smith, managing director of LV=GI Direct, said: “Finding the right tenant is crucial. Although the majority rarely experience tenant disputes, it’s clear that, when they do, the disputes are challenging and potentially costly.”

“Our research found that 13% currently don’t have landlord insurance, meaning they are missing out on things such as cover for accidental damage by tenants, loss of rent if the property becomes uninhabitable, and contents cover.”

Meera Chindooroy, policy and public affairs manager at the National Landlords Association (NLA), added: “Over 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 landlord’s future-proof themselves.”

She said the government’s proposal to abolish Section 21 will boost the impact that rent arrears and damage to property has on landlords’ ability to run their business successfully. On top of the costs, landlords will need to spend more time and money to regain possession of their properties.

“Seeking information, support and advice, for example through landlords’ associations, can be invaluable in reducing your risks,” Chindooroy concluded.

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    My maintenance budget amounts to a significant figure and a lot was spent at B&Q/ Screwfix. They hardly get a look-in now due to their support of Shelter.


    I've taken my insurance away from Swinton too. Plus remortgaged a property recently away from BMS. Both are supporters of Shelter.

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    I think I spend a decent chunk of this 4.7bn myself! Certainly feels like it. My maintenance and refurb costs alone are £50-80,000/yr. Funny, you’d think B&Q would fancy some of this money, but their love of Shelter prevents it.

  •  G romit

    With the Government (central and local) taxing Landlords more and more. There's less in the pot for maintenance & repairs, building supplies firms are already reporting lower spending from the rental sector.
    Government can only milk the PRS so much before properties get more and more run down. Rents will have to increase or if the they can't be increased due to local market conditions, then the Landlord will sell up, evicting the existing tenant in the process.

  • James B

    Incredible figure what landlords deal with yet they get such a hammering from the government and shelter

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    It is clear that government wish to totally destroy the Btl PRS.
    S24tax on the biggest cost just for ind
    Fines for minor mistakes
    Fees regs galore
    Tenants do major damage I hav just go a property back which needs a new kitchen completely wrecked. No chance of getting tenant to pay courts a joke. Even the judges realise man landlords will not get the money.

    I spend a 3rd of turnover on repairs much damage caused by tenants.

    They would not rent th property n the state they leave it.
    No pride or decency left in this country they don't care because they ar not held to account.

    The PRS puts billions into the economy and this is not being taken into account.

    Abolish S21 well Osborne started the attacks with S24 now May legacy will be bringing it to its knees with S21 removal


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