Accidental landlord? Be safe, not sorry

Article Posted -
02 Apr 2015

Research from the leading landlords association reveals nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of UK landlords – approximately 360,000 – came into the market accidentally or unintentionally.

The findings from a National Landlords Association (NLA) survey*, which asked landlords why they first entered the buy to let (BTL) market, show that:

  • Eleven per cent were by chance, e.g. through inheriting property
  • Five per cent acquired an extra property, e.g. when they met a spouse
  • Five per cent intended to sell but experienced difficulties
  • Three per cent had to relocate for work, either home or abroad

Central London was found to have the highest proportion (31 per cent) of accidental landlords. This is closely followed by Wales (29 per cent) and then the East of England and Yorkshire, both with 27 per cent. The North West had the least with just 15 per cent claiming to have got into the business unintentionally.

However, the research also shows that three in 10 landlords (30%) with a single property only breakeven or make a loss.

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA, said:

“The figures show that there are a significant number of people who find themselves as landlords without ever having really planned to enter the market. 

“It may be surprising to find that so many single-property landlords struggle to make it work, but we often find that this is because so many simply don’t realise what they’re getting themselves into. 

“While a BTL property can provide a steady return, you’re in business to provide a home for someone else so you need to know your obligations and make sure that you have a plan to make a success of it all. 

“All landlords can sign up to the NLA for free to see how we can help make a success of their business. We offer free best practice tenancy agreements and other sample forms and letters which they may need during the life cycle of a tenancy. 

“Alternatively, enlisting the help of a letting agent is an option if you prefer a more hands-off approach; just make sure they are a member of a reputable trade organisation such as UKALA.” 





*NLA Quarterly Landlords Panel research – Q4 2014 (1,120 respondents)

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