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How much does the average landlord in England earn in income from rent?

There is a misconception among some people that all buy-to-let landlords are wealthy, but the reality is that most operate as individuals earning a modest income from buy-to-let property that is likely to supplement other earnings, the latest figures show.

The findings from the latest Private Landlords Survey, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), show that 94% of landlords in England operate as private individuals rather than as part of a company and on average earn £15,000 a year before tax and other deductions.

The research, the first of its kind since 2010, also reveals that for most landlords income from rent makes up 42% of their total gross income, with just 4% relying on buy-to-let as their main business.


Some 45% of landlords own just a single property, 38% own between two and four properties, representing 31% of the sector, while around half of private rented sector tenancies are let by 17% of landlords with five or more properties.

Interestingly, the proportion of landlords with just one property has dropped from 78% in 2010 to 45% or from 40% to 21% of the sector.

Meanwhile, the proportion of landlords with five or more properties increased from 5% to 17% or from 39% to 48% of the sector.

The study also found that more than half - 59% - of landlords are aged 55 years or older and 33% are retired.

Some 70% of landlords have let property for six years or more and the average length of time that landlords had let property was 11.5 years.

According to the survey, 53% of landlords plan to keep the number of rental properties the same over the next two years, with 11% planning to increase the number of properties they own, while 10% of landlords plan to reduce the number of properties in their portfolio.

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Poll: Do you rely on buy-to-let as your main business?


  • Peter England

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    I have a file for each property with all expenditure recorded and at the beginning of the financial year I total it up on an income and expenditure sheet and send it to the accountant, who then works his magic with all the reliefs that I can claim for.
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    I record everything on a spreadsheet as it happens so it's done by mid April and in mid January get the 8 or 10 numbers from it to copy directly into my online tax return. It's easy enough to work out what tax reliefs are available without paying an accountant. However this January the online system suggested my repairs etc were too high, so HMRC prefer us to pay more tax rather than keep our properties well maintained!

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    "Landlord Property Manager" does it for me and gives me a near perfect record and instant tax analysis in case one is needed for HMRC!


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