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Small-scale amateur landlords most popular with tenants, report reveals

Size matters when it comes to tenant satisfaction, with renters rating small-scale, amateur landlords more highly than portfolio landlords and agents.

Research programme RentBetter’s report on the impact of PRS tenancy reform in Scotland found more contentment than generally thought, following the introduction of private residential tenancies three years ago.

It says this is linked to the fact tenancies generally don’t turn over quickly.

“This finding might suggest a higher degree of consumer satisfaction in private renting than is often supposed,” says author, Professor Douglas Robertson.

“This was also found to be linked to the landlord type, with what many considered the small-scale, more amateur, so-called ‘cottage industry’ providers.

The finding jars somewhat with another policy ambition, that of encouraging a higher degree of professionalism across the sector.”

His research finds that the importance of maintaining positive, trusting relationships with the landlord was a strong theme from tenants, who emphasised the benefit of proactive, person-centred landlord approaches – most often provided by one property or small portfolio landlords.

But RentBetter reports that up to a quarter of landlords are questioning whether to continue operating as a business due to changes in taxes and tenancies.

Says Robertson: “One worry that arises out from this is who exactly is thinking of getting out. If it is the small amateur landlords, then policy will have delivered on professionalising the sector, but for many tenants it is these very same landlords who they have invested so much faith in.”

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