British landlord numbers may be soaring but according to the latest research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), 25% entered into the market accidentally or unintentionally. This equates to a huge 360,000 private property owners across the nation.
As part of the association’s annual survey, landlords were asked why they chose to enter the buy-to-let market. 11% admitted that they stumbled into it by chance, with many inheriting property from relatives. 5% found themselves with an extra property when meeting a partner or spouse, another 5% planned on selling property but encountered difficulties and were forced to resort to letting while 3% decided to let when relocating for work.
The City of London had the highest rates of accidental or unintentional landlords, with a huge 31% falling into the category. Wales secured second place with 29%, while 27% of landlords in Yorkshire and East England did not originally intend to let. The North West appears to be the most well-prepared district, with just 15% of property owners maintaining that they are accidental or unintentional landlords.
Carolyn Uphill, NLA chairman explains, “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.”
Another interesting statistic unveiled by the study is the fact that 30% of single property landlords only manage to break even, with some even making a loss. Uphill maintains that this is largely due to the fact that many are simply underprepared, saying “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.” She stresses that an in-depth understanding of responsibilities, obligations and potential expenses is critical to buy-to-let success. “While a buy to let 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,’ she explains.
Whether leasing a single small inner city flat or a portfolio of properties across the nation, preparation is the key to success. Every landlord should enter into the market armed with a tight business plan. This includes comprehensive landlords insurance that will cover the cost of any tenant disputes, property damage and other unexpected expenses.