20% of landlords ended up in the market 'accidentally'

It’s not easy being a landlord. There’s over 150 regulations governing the sector and plenty of ways to trip up if you’re not keeping up-to-date with the legislation required to carry out the role properly.

Overseeing the management of someone’s home is not a task to be taken lightly, which is why recent research by Foundation Home Loans, stating that one-in-five landlords fell into the role, and class themselves as ‘accidental landlords’.

The research states that the ‘accidental landlord’ entered the sector without meaning to, finding themselves with a property that they did not plan to own, many through inheritance (9%), of a change in circumstances due to marriage or relocation (14%).

The BTL sector is an attractive one, so it is unsurprising that many people, when faced with such a change, choose to dip a toe in the BTL world, but it is a concern when you consider the steep challenges faced by landlords today. Of the landlords questioned for the survey, whether accidental or planned, 23% admitted to becoming a landlord for the financial benefits, considering the move an attractive investment. Unsurprisingly, 21% plan to use rental income to fund their retirement, suggesting that they possibly do not consider the role of a landlord as a job in itself…

Equally though, another 21% do admit that they consider their role as a landlord to be their full-time job, and do not work in any other capacity. This is most common in London, where landlords most keenly recognise the ongoing demand for managed rental properties in the capital. There’s plenty of very busy landlords out there, with 60% of respondents admitting that they run their property portfolio alongside a full-time job, and 19% juggling a part time job alongside their responsibilities as a landlord.

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. 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. Considering the rental sector forms an increasingly important part of the housing mix, landlords need to be armed with the right advice.

Jeff Knight, marketing director at Foundation Home Loans

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