Significant improvements found in landlord responsiveness to tenants' needs

A new survey conducted by Total Landlord has revealed that 71% of landlords commit to responding to tenants within 24 hours - up from 57% a few years ago.

Related topics:  Landlords,  Tenants,  PRS
Property | Reporter
21st February 2024
To Let 733
"The findings from this survey challenge the often-stereotypical views of landlords and also underline their resilience and dedication to providing quality housing"
- Steve Barnes - Total Landlord

Building on comparative analysis with data from a similar survey conducted in December 2020 / January 2021, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Total Landlord’s comprehensive survey explores various landlord responsibilities, from property maintenance to compliance with legislation, shedding light on landlords’ changing attitudes towards their role, and illustrating a positive shift in the landlord-tenant dynamic.

Steve Barnes, Head of Broking at Total Landlord, remarked: “This year’s survey paints a promising picture of the landlord community’s dedication to improving tenant welfare and property standards amidst challenging economic and regulatory conditions.”

Key survey insights include:

Elevating tenant communication is a key priority

In a sector where communication defines the tenant-landlord relationship, this year's survey reveals a significant leap forward in how landlords connect with their tenants. A notable aspect of this improvement is the increase in landlords providing at least one week's notice before inspections.

This practice has seen a remarkable uptick, surging from 44% to 60%, demonstrating a growing respect for tenant privacy and rights. The huge decline from 32% to 13% of landlords giving just 24 hours’ notice (the minimum amount of time required), before an inspection showcases a shift towards more considerate and planned interactions, improving tenant satisfaction and trust.

Proactive property maintenance takes centre stage:

Landlords have significantly improved in their approach to property maintenance, with 80% reporting that they take proactive measures to prevent issues. There has also been an improved commitment to timely gas inspections and boiler checks, with the percentage of landlords conducting these essential safety measures in advance rising from 68% to 73%.

Tenant-landlord dynamics:

Flexibility and responsiveness emerge as key themes, with 58% of landlords showing a willingness to accommodate their tenants’ financial situations. It’s noteworthy that the proportion of landlords open to flexibility only in extenuating circumstances has risen from 22% to 35%, reflecting the nuanced challenges landlords face in current economic times.

Raising the bar on responsiveness:

An encouraging trend from the survey is the significant improvement in landlords’ responsiveness to tenant enquiries. Now, 71% of landlords commit to responding within 24 hours, an increase from 57%, highlighting a strengthened commitment to tenant satisfaction and communication.

Adapting to economic and legislative changes:

The survey also sheds light on landlords’ adaptive approaches amidst economic uncertainty and upcoming legislative changes. Despite the complexities of navigating new regulations, such as the Renters (Reform) Bill, landlords are actively striving to stay informed.

While only half of the respondents claim full awareness of the Renters (Reform) Bill, efforts to stay informed and compliant are evident, with an additional 35% striving to keep pace with the details, reflecting a proactive stance towards upcoming regulatory shifts., only 14% remain unaware.

Summing up the findings, Steve Barnes adds: "The findings from this survey challenge the often-stereotypical views of landlords and also underline their resilience and dedication to providing quality housing. In navigating rising interest rates and inflation, landlords are making concerted efforts to balance financial sustainability with tenant welfare, striving to be good landlords.

“The improvements identified in the 2024 survey highlight a positive trajectory in the landlord-tenant relationship, with a clear focus on communication, safety, and compliance. The majority of landlords remain dedicated to their roles as housing providers, and are doing all they can to uphold standards and serve their tenants responsibly.”

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