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Who are the UK’s landlords?

August 12, 2016Article by Charlotte Ashton

The UK’s private rented sector has grown significantly in recent years, with the most recent English Housing Survey revealing that 19% of households (4.3 million) were renting privately in 2014/15. Now, a new survey has shed light on who they are renting from, dispelling some of the myths of who England’s landlords are.

English landlords laid bare

The new survey from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), BDRC and the London School of Economics is the first large-scale review of English landlords since the Department for Communities and Local Government’s private landlord survey in 2010. Much has changed in the private rented sector in that time, with the quality of rental accommodation being driven up by new developments, such as the delightfully stylish Parker Street Residences in the heart of Liverpool city centre.

So who are the landlords behind these high spec new homes? According to the CML survey, they are mainly private individuals who rent their properties out as a part-time activity. 89% of those surveyed in 2010 were private individuals, compared to 87% in 2016.

Back in 2010, 78% of landlords managed just one property. That figure has fallen to 63% in the 2016 survey, indicating that an increasing number of landlords are building their portfolios by taking on additional properties. Indeed, the number of landlords with between two and four properties has risen from 17% in 2010 to 30% in 2016. This is consistent with the CML’s finding that loans for buy-to-let property purchase have increased by around 19% per year since 2010.

Rent still not primary source of income for most landlords

Despite the growth in the portfolio size of many English landlords, rent is still not the primary source of income for the majority. For 90% of landlords, according the CML survey, income from their rental properties accounts for less than half of their total income.

Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, comments,

“There is often a misconception that all buy-to-let landlords are wealthy businessmen with huge property portfolios, whose income is derived entirely from their tenants. The CML survey has shown that this myth is a long way from the reality. Yes, there are some landlords who own strings of properties both in the UK and overseas, but the majority are private individuals who are using their status as buy-to-let landlords to supplement their main income stream. They are individuals and couples who have managed to buy a single property as a buy-to-let investment. While there is a trend towards landlords beginning to grow their portfolios, the majority still own just one rental home.”

Choosing the right rental property

The findings show how important it therefore is for landlords to choose the right property. With 63% of landlords owning just one rental home, their need to make sure it is the right home is paramount. This need is what has given rise to the exclusive new Divine Collection from Property Frontiers. As a specialist property investment company, Property Frontiers is well used to working with landlords with portfolios of all sizes and has a robust understanding of the kind of property that appeals to buy-to-let investors.

The Divine Collection consists of 30 hand-picked apartments at St Anne’s Court, in the heart of the trendy Digbeth area of central Birmingham. The apartments have been selected for their superior position and features, as well as access to an exclusive roof garden. Prices start from £165,000 for a one-bedroom apartment (investment from £24,750).

For more information about investing in Birmingham’s Divine Collection, contact Property Frontiers or call +44 1865 202 700.

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