“We are seeing an increasing trend of savvy landlords taking direct control of how their property is let and managed and becoming much more self-sufficient.”
– Alex Huntley from Simple Landlords Insurance
Landlords are increasingly likely to live within the vicinity of their properties and manage maintenance themselves. Research by Simple Landlords Insurance over a total of 10,000 addresses revealed that two thirds of landlords live within a 10 mile radius of their houses. This tally further splits into 24 percent of the reviewed landlords living within a mile radius, 46 percent in a 10 mile radius, 13 percent choosing to stay between 10 and 25 miles and 15 percent over 50 miles away.
A quick interpretation of the study shows that property owners prefer to own properties in areas they are familiar with, frequently ignoring expert suggestions that they could gain higher rental yields further afield. Almost half (45%) of those polled owned a single rental property, while 40% owned between 2-4 and 15% said they have a portfolio of over five homes.
Furthermore, the research showed that a good proportion (65%) of home owners deliberately invested in buy-to-let properties. In other words, landlords do plan on renting out properties from the onset of their investment as against the 17% of ‘accidental landlords’ who either found themselves unable to sell their home or inherited the property.
So why do most landlords prefer to buy close to home? The answer centres around familiarity, as research shows that property investors always want to be on top of issues that might affect their assets. These issues might include:
- Tracking Market Changes: Landlords prefer to buy in their own backyard to easily stay on top of constant market changes, such as pricing, new infrastructure and potential risks to their investment. What better way to understand a property than actually being in the same zone as the investment?
- Overseeing Maintenance: The poll revealed that 65% of owners prefer to shoulder some of the responsibility of overseeing the maintenance of their properties. 24% only employ the services of agents to find tenants. 41% do everything themselves, while 35% use an agent to do everything. With your property in your own backyard, it is easier to take care of repairs yourself without involving agents. It still isn’t always easy though!
- Immediate Feedback: Often landlords get bad press so feedback is often a priority for home owners. By being close to their properties landlords can meet tenants, provide help and guidance, and regularly check up on their investments.
In the words of Alex Huntley from Simple Landlords Insurance, “While it can be easy to bash landlords as faceless investors, these results show they are more likely to be part of the community they invest in and take a personal interest in making sure their property is well maintained and tenancies are long-term”.