A rogue tenant takes roughly nine months in total to evict and the process can cost a landlord as much as £55,000 in total, with an average of £6,111 in lost rent, according to new research.
But it goes far beyond the rental costs with many landlords faced with cleaning up costs which can include redecorating and even extensive renovation, says the study from by independent letting and sales agent Benham and Reeves.
There can be the cost of refitting a kitchen and bathroom, redecorating and replacing windows, and potential legal fees, as well as the additional cost of mortgage payments out of their own pocket while no rent is coming in.
The two rooms that always see the most damage are the bathroom and kitchen with average costs at £8,000 and £4,875 respectively, the study suggests. While to cost of redecorating is put at £2,900, new windows at £7,000 and average legal fees at £3,000, adding up to £31,886.
However, in London where property costs are much higher, this total cost climbs to £41,318 and in prime central London, thought to be the capital’s biggest hotspot for rogue tenants, costs can run to over £50,000.
Kensington and Chelsea is the most expensive area in the UK to rent or buy and having to deal with a rogue tenant for nine months could reach £54,647. In Westminster, the cost hits £51,263 with Camden, the City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond, Islington, Hackney, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth and Southwark all seeing the cost exceed £40,000.
Outside of London, landlords in Oxford and Cambridge are also facing a cost of more than £36,000 to evict a rogue tenant, In Bristol, Edinburgh, Bournemouth, Glasgow, Manchester and Portsmouth landlords are still facing a bill upward of £33,000, with landlords in every other major city looking at a minimum cost of £30,000 or more.
‘Rogue tenants are a landlord’s absolute worst nightmare and apart from the stress and time consumed dealing with them, the financial impact can be crippling,’ said Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves.
He pointed out that rogue tenants can know the letter of the law and every trick in the book to prevent a landlord from getting rid of them, including how to stall a court date for weeks and how to deter the bailiff through threats of violence.
‘Kitchens, bathrooms, and windows are often the main features targeted as they know that these are the most costly areas of a property to replace and more often than not they will smash appliances to pieces, disconnect pipping and shatter windows for no other reason than to cause the maximum amount of damage they can,’ he added.