Research for the Nottingham Building Society showed 21% of landlords had to wait four months or more after completing their buy-to-let mortgage before securing tenants.
The Nottingham’s research, conducted by the lettings part of its business, found 53% of landlords have paying tenants within a couple of months of buying their first buy to let through lenders across the UK but substantial numbers face delays, putting pressure on their finances.
Landlord costs on top of mortgage finance are not trivial – the average landlord has to pay out £2,000 on his or her first property with 35% managing to spend less than £1,000.
Around 62% of those questioned said they had to redecorate or refurbish properties before letting to tenants with 28% saying redecorating work took two weeks or more.
However, once tenants are in, the pressure eases substantially with the average landlord reporting just one month a year with a void or empty property, with 45% reporting no voids at all.
The research found the average landlord spends around £700 a year for each property on maintenance – however two out of five claim to spend less than £500.
Stephen Reade, lettings operations manager at The Nottingham, said: “Becoming a landlord remains attractive for thousands of people, but it is clear landlords need to think carefully before making the decision and also to plan ahead.
“Having to wait four months or more before getting tenants in can put a strain on finances and landlords need to ensure they have spare money to invest in their property over and above basic mortgage costs.”