Landlords face £100k in costs when evicting a rogue tenant

Research by independent letting and sales agent Benham and Reeves has looked at the unfortunate cost of landing a bad tenant and how much this can reach during the gruelling process of having them evicted from the property.

Previous research by Benham and Reeves highlighted the increasing number of fraudulent lettings applications by rogue tenants, who no longer need pay if their application is denied due to the introduction of the Tenant Fee Act 2019. Benham and Reeves found that the number of false applications being detected by their team had already increased by 117% so far this year when compared to 2018 and the number of false passports being used had also increased notably.

This latest research looks at the detrimental financial impact a rogue tenant can have on a landlord’s buy-to-let investment based on lost rent, the cost of refitting a kitchen and bathroom, redecorating and replacing the windows, the potential legal fees, as well as the additional cost of mortgage payments out of their own pocket while no rent is coming in.

According to Benham and Reeves, a rogue tenant takes roughly nine months in total to evict from the moment they enter the property to legally removing them. On average across the UK, that’s £6,111 of rent down the drain.

But it goes far beyond the rental costs and the vast majority of the time the apartment requires a complete renovation as rogue tenants often make off with everything they can or leave what they can’t take in a state of no repair. The two rooms that always see the most damage are the bathroom and kitchen and when you add the average cost of a new kitchen (£8,000), the average cost of refitting a bathroom (£4,875), the cost of redecorating (£2,900), new windows (£7,000), as well as the average legal fees of £3,000 required during the eviction process, you’re already looking at a hefty bill.

Couple this with the nine months of mortgage payments that you have to make out of your own pocket due to no rental income (£8,412) and the total bill comes to an eye-watering £40,298 – that’s 18% off your properties value wiped off in one hit.

However, in London where property costs are much higher, this total cost climbs to £58,091 for the average landlord in the capital – 13% of the average property value.

Prime central London is thought to be the capital’s biggest hotspot for rogue tenants and for those unlucky enough to find themselves facing the eviction of one, costs can run almost reach six figures.

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 will set you back £100,512, 8% of the average property value. In Westminster, the cost hits £86,885 with Camden, the City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond, Islington, Hackney, Wandsworth, and Haringey all seeing the cost exceed £60,000. The lower cost of property in Barking and Dagenham means that while the bill is the lowest at £47,394, it accounts for the highest amount of property value wiped off at 16%.

Outside of London, landlords in Oxford and Cambridge are also facing a cost of more than £50,000 to evict a rogue tenant, a loss in property values of 13% and 12% respectively. In Edinburgh, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Cardiff and Manchester, landlords are still facing a bill upward of £40,000, with landlords in every other major city looking at a minimum cost of £35,000 or more.

Landlords in Glasgow, Belfast, and Derry would see the largest percentage of property value lost at 29% of the average house price!

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“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.

We’re not talking about a bad apple that doesn’t pay rent for the last two months of a tenancy and leaves a dirty protest on their way out. We’re talking about serious criminal organisations that know the letter of the law and every trick in the book to prevent you from getting rid of them, including how to stall the court date for weeks on end and how to deter the bailiff through threats of violence when they finally do call.

At the very least, you’ll have a dangerously overcrowded sub-let on your hands but more often than not it will be a brothel, workhouse or drug farm. We’re not kidding when we talk about the complete renovation and refurbishment of the property afterwards either, as they will take every single thing they can and destroy whatever is left.

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.

It’s an extremely deep-rooted issue that goes beyond the tenant, even as far as the bribery of the concierge and so you really are fighting from day one to get them out.

That’s why we can’t stress enough how vital it is to rent via an agent who conducts the proper checks through a qualified third party who is trained to spot even the most convincing of forged documents. Failing to do so can cost you thousands, even hundreds of thousands to put right.”

Location
Rental loss
Damage costs
Legal costs
Mortgage costs
Total
Average house price
Percentage of house price wiped off
Average monthly rent
9 months rent value
Average mortgage repayment per month
Average mortgage repayment for 9 months
Potential Total costs to landlord over 9 months
London
£1,727
£15,543
£22,775
£3,000
£1,864
£16,773
£58,091
£457,471
13%
Oxford
£1,366
£12,294
£22,775
£3,000
£1,724
£15,515
£53,584
£423,156
13%
Cambridge
£1,225
£11,025
£22,775
£3,000
£1,753
£15,776
£52,576
£430,282
12%
Bristol
£1,070
£9,630
£22,775
£3,000
£1,148
£10,331
£45,736
£281,758
16%
Edinburgh
£1,068
£9,612
£22,775
£3,000
£1,092
£9,830
£45,217
£268,091
17%
Bournemouth
£848
£7,632
£22,775
£3,000
£1,028
£9,254
£42,661
£252,397
17%
Portsmouth
£812
£7,308
£22,775
£3,000
£857
£7,710
£40,793
£210,283
19%
Southampton
£793
£7,137
£22,775
£3,000
£839
£7,550
£40,462
£205,924
20%
Cardiff
£733
£6,597
£22,775
£3,000
£852
£7,669
£40,041
£209,153
19%
Manchester
£839
£7,551
£22,775
£3,000
£743
£6,688
£40,014
£182,417
22%
Leeds
£760
£6,840
£22,775
£3,000
£745
£6,703
£39,318
£182,832
22%
Birmingham
£715
£6,435
£22,775
£3,000
£766
£6,896
£39,106
£188,079
21%
Glasgow
£845
£7,605
£22,775
£3,000
£536
£4,824
£38,204
£131,564
29%
Newcastle
£717
£6,453
£22,775
£3,000
£633
£5,693
£37,921
£155,275
24%
Aberdeen
£723
£6,507
£22,775
£3,000
£622
£5,598
£37,880
£152,686
25%
Plymouth
£569
£5,121
£22,775
£3,000
£758
£6,820
£37,716
£186,001
20%
Leicester
£600
£5,400
£22,775
£3,000
£712
£6,411
£37,586
£174,840
21%
Newport
£539
£4,847
£22,775
£3,000
£767
£6,900
£37,522
£188,180
20%
Lisburn
£634
£5,706
£22,775
£3,000
£653
£5,877
£37,358
£160,301
23%
Sheffield
£618
£5,562
£22,775
£3,000
£660
£5,942
£37,279
£162,049
23%
Nottingham
£647
£5,823
£22,775
£3,000
£575
£5,174
£36,772
£141,124
26%
Belfast
£697
£6,273
£22,775
£3,000
£523
£4,707
£36,755
£128,386
29%
Swansea
£552
£4,968
£22,775
£3,000
£586
£5,277
£36,020
£143,920
25%
Derry
£525
£4,725
£22,775
£3,000
£492
£4,424
£34,924
£120,651
29%
Liverpool
£499
£4,491
£22,775
£3,000
£515
£4,637
£34,903
£126,458
28%
ENGLAND
£858
£7,722
£22,775
£3,000
£1,001
£9,013
£42,510
£245,817
17%
WALES
£515
£4,637
£22,775
£3,000
£649
£5,845
£36,257
£159,428
23%
SCOTLAND
£732
£6,590
£22,775
£3,000
£623
£5,603
£37,967
£152,801
25%
NORTHERN IRELAND
£612
£5,508
£22,775
£3,000
£549
£4,943
£36,226
£134,811
27%
UK
£679
£6,111
£22,775
£3,000
£935
£8,412
£40,298
£229,431
18%
*Total damage costs of £22,775 based on:
Average cost of refitting a kitchen: £8,000
Average cost of refitting a bathroom: £4,875
Average cost of painting and decorating: £2,900
Average cost of replacing windows: £7,000
London
Location
Rental loss
Damage costs
Legal costs
Mortgage costs
Total
Average house price
Percentage of house price wiped off
Average monthly rent
9 months rent value
Average cost of refitting a kitchen
Legal fees
Average mortgage repayment per month
Average mortgage repayment for 9 months
Total costs to landlord over 9 months
Kensington and Chelsea
£3,208
£28,872
£22,775
£3,000
£5,096
£45,865
£100,512
£1,250,926
8%
Westminster
£2,832
£25,488
£22,775
£3,000
£3,958
£35,622
£86,885
£971,552
9%
Camden
£2,427
£21,843
£22,775
£3,000
£3,352
£30,166
£77,784
£822,741
9%
City of London
£2,377
£21,393
£22,775
£3,000
£2,974
£26,764
£73,932
£729,967
10%
Hammersmith and Fulham
£2,070
£18,630
£22,775
£3,000
£2,786
£25,072
£69,477
£683,804
10%
Richmond upon Thames
£1,896
£17,064
£22,775
£3,000
£2,600
£23,402
£66,241
£638,266
10%
Islington
£1,895
£17,055
£22,775
£3,000
£2,507
£22,561
£65,391
£615,316
11%
Hackney
£1,834
£16,506
£22,775
£3,000
£2,328
£20,953
£63,234
£571,462
11%
Wandsworth
£1,828
£16,452
£22,775
£3,000
£2,303
£20,730
£62,957
£565,377
11%
Haringey
£1,513
£13,617
£22,775
£3,000
£2,379
£21,407
£60,799
£583,850
10%
Lambeth
£1,751
£15,759
£22,775
£3,000
£2,019
£18,172
£59,706
£495,609
12%
Southwark
£1,676
£15,084
£22,775
£3,000
£1,936
£17,428
£58,287
£475,319
12%
Tower Hamlets
£1,773
£15,957
£22,775
£3,000
£1,793
£16,139
£57,871
£440,166
13%
Brent
£1,578
£14,202
£22,775
£3,000
£1,977
£17,791
£57,768
£485,225
12%
Merton
£1,542
£13,878
£22,775
£3,000
£1,986
£17,876
£57,529
£487,549
12%
Barnet
£1,548
£13,932
£22,775
£3,000
£1,963
£17,666
£57,373
£481,821
12%
Ealing
£1,484
£13,356
£22,775
£3,000
£1,866
£16,798
£55,929
£458,135
12%
Kingston upon Thames
£1,396
£12,564
£22,775
£3,000
£1,928
£17,349
£55,688
£473,184
12%
Harrow
£1,396
£12,564
£22,775
£3,000
£1,784
£16,052
£54,391
£437,793
12%
Waltham Forest
£1,314
£11,826
£22,775
£3,000
£1,774
£15,963
£53,564
£435,384
12%
Bromley
£1,318
£11,862
£22,775
£3,000
£1,732
£15,586
£53,223
£425,082
13%
Hounslow
£1,410
£12,690
£22,775
£3,000
£1,612
£14,506
£52,971
£395,642
13%
Redbridge
£1,303
£11,727
£22,775
£3,000
£1,685
£15,169
£52,671
£413,719
13%
Lewisham
£1,318
£11,862
£22,775
£3,000
£1,650
£14,849
£52,486
£404,977
13%
Newham
£1,422
£12,798
£22,775
£3,000
£1,515
£13,631
£52,204
£371,772
14%
Hillingdon
£1,268
£11,412
£22,775
£3,000
£1,653
£14,879
£52,066
£405,812
13%
Greenwich
£1,380
£12,420
£22,775
£3,000
£1,540
£13,862
£52,057
£378,082
14%
Enfield
£1,325
£11,925
£22,775
£3,000
£1,581
£14,227
£51,927
£388,017
13%
Sutton
£1,130
£10,170
£22,775
£3,000
£1,500
£13,499
£49,444
£368,180
13%
Havering
£1,131
£10,179
£22,775
£3,000
£1,446
£13,016
£48,970
£354,994
14%
Croydon
£1,112
£10,008
£22,775
£3,000
£1,439
£12,950
£48,733
£353,194
14%
Bexley
£1,084
£9,756
£22,775
£3,000
£1,368
£12,315
£47,846
£335,884
14%
Barking and Dagenham
£1,192
£10,728
£22,775
£3,000
£1,210
£10,891
£47,394
£297,039
16%
London
£1,727
£15,543
£22,775
£3,000
£1,864
£16,773
£58,091
£457,471
13%
*Total damage costs of £22,775 based on:
Average cost of refitting a kitchen: £8,000
Average cost of refitting a bathroom: £4,875
Average cost of painting and decorating: £2,900
Average cost of replacing windows: £7,000
Sources
Average Rent
 
Average costs of refit/renovation
 
Average legal fees/costs

 

 

Benham and Reeves
 
Average House Price
 
Average mortgage rates
 
Mortgage repayment calculator

 

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