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A fifth of landlords ‘fell into’ buy-to-let

One in five landlords in this country entered the buy-to-let sector without even planning to, finding themselves with a property ‘accidentally’ or through inheritance, according to fresh research by Foundation Home Loans.

The latest sentiment research found that 14% of existing landlords consider themselves to be so-called ‘accidental landlords’ due to a change in circumstance such as through marriage or relocation.

Almost one in ten - 9% - landlords inherited their properties, something that comes with its own complex tax challenges to navigate.

Nearly a quarter - 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.

A fifth - 21% - of landlords said they are full time and do not have another job, with the greatest proportion doing so in London as landlords recognise the ongoing demand for rental properties in the capital, stemming mainly from young professionals seeking properties within proximity to their workplaces.

The majority of landlords - 60% - do have another full-time job and are landlords in their spare time and a fifth - 19% - have a part-time job but spread their time among their various landlord duties.

Around one in seven - 17% - of existing landlords plan to increase the size of their portfolio in the next 12 months.

Jeff Knight, marketing director at Foundation Home Loans, said: “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.

“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.”

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