A new survey suggests that one in five individual and multi-property landlords felt unprepared when they first started letting properties - and it’s identified the parts of the job that were most daunting.
The areas they felt they were lacking in knowledge were drawing up tenancy agreements, eviction rights, public liability and tenant security deposits.
These knowledge gaps have persisted for many, even those with some years of experience.
Eviction rights and dealing with property damage remain the top ongoing concerns for landlords, followed closely by changes to regulations.
Just over a quarter say they are not concerned about filling these knowledge gaps or seeking legal expertise, suggesting that they aren’t taking the potential risks seriously enough.
But a third admit to having personal concerns about legal compliance and regulation in particular, and most of those are seeking information or training.
However, a significant chunk of landlords - 15 per cent - haven’t taken any steps to improve their knowledge, citing a lack of time or not being aware of how to get the appropriate information.
Efforts to close knowledge gaps are having an effect.
Seven in 10 landlords agree that they have improved their understanding of tenant security deposits since becoming a landlord, with nearly two thirds improving their knowledge of drawing up tenancy agreements.
Most landlords also believe they’ve enhanced their understanding of dealing with property damage, getting good rental yields and eviction rights.
Jamie Chaplin of Direct Line Business - which commissioned the study - says: “It’s troubling that so many landlords do not feel they’re prepared before renting out a property, and even more worrying that many aren’t concerned about improving their level of knowledge of legal and compliance issues.
“But there are signs for optimism. Many landlords are taking steps to improve their knowledge and are learning through experience, evidenced by most saying that they’ve improved their understanding of key issues such as tenant security deposits, tenancy agreements, property damage and getting good rental yields.”