Landlords find that the private rented sector in the UK is still a worthwhile investment

Despite tax and regulatory change it seems that being a landlord is not as bad as the headlines make out with new research showing that the buy to let market is attractive for a variety of reasons.

Even so called accidental landlords, for example those who enter the sector after inheriting a property, are not leaving with many even adding to their business by expanding their portfolio.

One of the main reasons for staying is that the private rented sector makes up a large part of the UK’s lettings market and with a shortage of houses to buy is likely to continue to do so.

Indeed, new research from Foundation Home Loans shows that 17% of existing landlords plan to increase the size of their portfolio in the next 12 months and a growing number overall are accidental landlords.

Some 14% of existing landlords describe themselves as ‘accidental’ due to a change in circumstances such as marriage or relocation while 9% inherited the property that they let out.

However, 23% of all landlords questioned became a landlord purely for financial reasons, considering it to be an attractive investment, with 21% planning to use earned rental income to fund their retirement plans.

Some 21% described themselves as full time landlords and do not have another job, with the greatest proportion located in London while 19% say that they have a part time job, leaving 60% who are landlords while having a full time job.

‘With so much regulation introduced into the buy to let market in the last few years, it could be easy for those who are unplanned landlords to make a swift exit rather than stay and navigate the red tape,’ said Jeff Knight, marketing director at Foundation Home Loans.

‘That said, no matter how they found themselves owning rental property, it’s clear landlords are interested by the buy to let market for a variety of reasons and objectives, financial or otherwise,’ he pointed out.

‘Considering the rental sector forms an increasingly important part of the housing mix, landlords need to be armed with the right advice. Our findings indicate plenty of the accidental landlords are looking to expand their portfolios and remain invested in the market, which will ultimately have a positive impact on quality and choice for renters,’ he added.