The Cost of Being a UK Landlord 2022

Maintaining Properties

When renting out a property, repairs are inevitable. Whether caused by tenants, bad plumbing or intense weather conditions, as a landlord, you’re responsible for most of the repairs in your home. Over time, costs can start to add up rapidly, especially if you are letting multiple properties.

For landlords looking to save some money, DIY repairs may seem tempting. But, when done poorly, these can cause complications down the line and may even require a professional to redo the work, costing you more money overall.

We surveyed UK landlords to explore the costs associated with maintaining and repairing a rental property. We’ll take a look at how much it costs to be a landlord dealing with property damage, including the price of DIY fixes that don’t go to plan.

The UK rental market

Firstly, a bit of background about the UK rental market.

In 2021, HMRC revealed that there are now over 2.65 million landlords with properties across the UK. That’s 2.65 million people who are responsible for maintaining rental properties – from quick fixes to big repairs.

By September 2021, Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the median monthly rent in England was £755, the highest ever recorded. As prices have gone up, renters may expect more value for money and be more willing to request household repairs. These increased expectations mean that landlords may be spending more than ever to maintain their rental properties.

But just how much are they spending?

How much does it cost to maintain a rental property?

On average, we found that UK landlords spend £1088.48 each year on maintaining their rental properties.

Maintenance costs in different areas totalled different amounts, with landlords in Brighton spending 36% more than average (around £1400), making this the most expensive city to be a UK landlord. By contrast, landlords in Edinburgh spent 30% below average (around £700) a year, making this the cheapest city for maintaining a rental property.

Where in the UK are landlords spending most on maintenance?’

The most expensive repairs

From chipped paint to broken plumbing, any rental property will need repairs from time to time as part of regular upkeep. During our survey, we asked landlords how much they spend when repairing or replacing common household furnishings and fixtures to find out which repairs impact maintenance costs the most. We also looked at how often these repairs are taking place to see how this affects costs over time.

Installing kitchens and white goods are the most expensive repair/replacement for UK landlords to make, costing an average of £655.90 every 22 months. This is followed by roof leaks at £608 every 18 months, with carpeting and flooring repairs coming in third at £540.70 every 21 months.

While pest damage is the cheapest repair, costing UK landlords £350.20 every 13 months, it is also one of the most frequent types of repairs for landlords to deal with. This is followed by mould, which required fixing every 14 months and appliance break downs every 17 months.

Average cost of repairs in rental properties

What is most likely to damage a rental property?

Aside from expected wear and tear, there are a few main reasons why a property can become damaged and need repairing.

According to our survey, leaks are the most common cause of damage to rental properties and landlords spent an average of £535 a year fixing leak-related issues.

What is the costliest cause of damage?

Yet, despite leaks being the most common reason for repairs, we found that vandalism is the costliest cause of damage to UK rental properties, with landlords spending an average of £544.90 on related repairs each year. Landlords in Norwich, Newcastle and Sheffield are the worst affected by this issue, spending an average of £873.38 per year fixing the damage. Vandalism is also one of the most time-consuming causes of damage, with landlords spending an average of 2.5 days a year on related repairs.

Tenant accidents were the third most expensive cause of damage, costing landlords £512.10 a year.

Aside from tenant-related damages, storms of force 6[GB1] (strong enough wind to damage chimneys and aerials) and above have cost landlords £958 on average per year. Newcastle is the city where landlords have been most affected, paying around £1480 a year to deal with storm related damage.

Average cost of damages in rental properties

With multiple cause of damage that may need repairing during a rental period, there can sometimes be ambiguity around who is responsible for fixing any property damage.

In fact, nearly half (48.5%) of UK landlords have had a dispute with a tenant over who is responsible for property repairs or replacements.

Unfortunately, while damage may be caused by a tenant, landlords are usually responsible for handling any repairs that need to happen. This means that the majority of the costs also fall on the landlord and paying for professional repairs can be a big financial blow, especially without landlord insurance.

To try and get around these costs, many UK landlords turn to DIY methods to fix property damage. However, things don’t always go to plan…

DIY repairs: is it worth it?

How common are DIY repairs?

When dealing with property damage, nearly half (41%) of UK landlords that we surveyed have attempted to repair something in their rental property themselves. Of landlords that have made DIY repairs in their properties, 59% said this was due to pressures to get the repairs done quickly and 53% said it was due to money constraints.

How confident are UK landlords in their DIY skills?

UK landlords are the most confident in their DIY skills when fixing cosmetic issues such as paint and carpeting/flooring, with 80% and 58% respectively being confident in their own ability to fix these problems.

By contrast, landlords feel the least confident in their own ability to fix more substantial issues such as roof leaks (39%), boiler issues (40%) and heating and electrical problems (42% & 43% respectively).

How successful are DIY repairs?

While just under half of UK landlords have gone down this DIY route, almost the same number (35%) regret fixing something themselves.

The main reason landlords regret fixing issues themselves is that they’ve failed to fix the problem, with 29% reporting that they caused more damage. Other common outcomes of DIY repairs have been tenant complaints (24%) and long-lasting damage (14%).

38% of landlords that have tried to repair something themselves also had to have their work redone by a professional, often spending more money than if they had had the repairs made by tradesmen in the first place.

The percentage of landlords that agree with each statement

an infographic summarising the percentage of landlords who agree with the statements, as detailed above

Do UK landlords have insurance?

In cases where substantial repairs are needed, having a good insurance policy can help mitigate the financial impact and keep costs down, even when a professional is needed to fix the problem.

When surveyed, 20% of UK landlords said they don’t have insurance and with there being 2.65 million landlords in the UK, that’s a potential 530,000 people facing hefty costs if something was to go wrong in their property.

While 6% of those landlords don’t plan on getting landlord insurance, the rest do, a decision that could help them avoid large maintenance over time.

Advice to landlords

Alison Wild, Head of SME Marketing, from Towergate Insurance outlines the importance of having landlord insurance: “There is no legal requirement to obtain landlord insurance, however it is a great way to avoid putting yourself at financial risk in the future, giving you piece of mind. Landlord insurance protects you as the property owner from financial losses connected to the rental, such as theft, fire, or weather damage and can be extended to include coverage for things like loss of rent.

There are a range of different landlord insurance policies, most of which include buildings insurance and property owners’ liability insurance but can be expanded to include policies such as contents insurance. Selecting the right policy is bespoke to you and your property, it is important to consider your location, the types of tenants and the content within your property when selecting the right coverage.”


Maintaining a rental property comes with a number of inevitable costs, especially when repairs and replacements are needed after damage or general wear and tear.

While DIY repairs may be okay for chipping paint or old carpet, they may not be as cost-effective as they first seem and paying for a professional tradesman can help you save money in the long-run and avoid any extra costs when repairs are required.

From content cover to buy-to-let policies, having landlord insurance can also help you keep costs down when your rental property becomes damaged.

Towergate Insurance is a trading name of Advisory Insurance Brokers Limited. Registered in England Company No. 4043759, Registered Office: 2 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7PD. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This can be checked on the FCA’s register by checking the FCA website at or by contacting them on 0800 111 6768.

Methodology & sources

Towergate Insurance conducted a study exploring the costs associated with being a landlord and with repairing damages in a rental property. 1,000 landlords across the UK above the age of 18 were surveyed with regards to the costs of maintaining a property. The results provide a regional breakdown of the costs as well as prevalent damages to properties across the UK.

Towergate Insurance is a trading name of Advisory Insurance Brokers Limited. Registered in England Company No. 4043759, Registered Office: 2 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7PD. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This can be checked on the FCA’s register by checking the FCA website at or by contacting them on 0800 111 6768.