10 Top Facts About Buy-to-Let Landlords

Letting private homes for rent can be isolating for many landlords with no friends who let property. Here are some facts about buy-to-let landlords.

Measuring business performance or knowing where to set rents can be challenging without benchmark comparisons.

A good data source for landlords is The English Private Landlord Survey, published every three years by the government. The latest data for 2021 was released in May 2022 and offered a range of information for landlords.

How much do landlords earn from buy to let?

  • A landlord’s median annual rental income was £17,200 - up from £15,000 in 2018
  • 56 per cent of landlords earned rental income of less than £20,000 a year
  • 29 per cent earned between £20,000 and £50,000 a year
  • 15 per cent earned more than £50,000 a year

How much are rental properties worth?

  • The median property portfolio value was £410,000
  • 19 per cent valued their portfolio at less than £200,000
  • 36 per cent valued their properties between £200,000 and £500,000
  • 24 per cent had portfolios valued at £500,000 to £1 million
  • 20 per cent valued their properties at more than £1 million
  • The average rental property was worth £277,100 - just above the estimated average house price in England of £273,800

What sort of property do landlords own?

  • 46 per cent of landlords own terraced homes
  • 39 per cent own purpose-built flats
  • 32 per cent own semi-detached homes
  • 21 per cent own converted flats
  • 12 per cent own detached houses
  • 4 per cent own bedsits or small rooms for renting

*The figures add up to more than 100 per cent because many landlords own more than one type of property

How much do landlords keep from deposits?

  • Deposit schemes hold around 3.9 million deposits for tenants
  • 62 per cent of landlords returned all the deposit at the end of a tenancy
  • 22 per cent deducted money from the deposit to cover rent arrears or damage to a property
  • 3 per cent kept all the deposit
  • 9 per cent kept all the deposit as the cost of repairs was more than the value of the deposit

How many homes do landlords own?

  • 43 per cent of landlords own a single rental home, and these properties represent 20 per cent of all tenancies - about 880,000 homes
  • 39 per cent of landlords own two to four rental homes, representing 31 per cent of all tenancies - about 364 million homes
  • 18 per cent of landlords own five or more rental homes, representing 48 per cent of all tenancies - about 2.156 million homes

A typical landlord’s profile

  • 55 per cent of landlords are men
  • The median age of a landlord is 58
  • 35 per cent of landlords bought their first property to live in rather than rent, while seven per cent inherited or were gifted their first rental home
  • 54 per cent see letting property as a pension
  • 48 per cent see letting as an income source
  • 27 per cent invested for capital growth
  • 5 per cent of landlords consider their role a full-time business

Do landlords have other jobs?

  • 30 per cent of landlords have a separate main job, while 10 per cent work part-time
  • 35 per cent of landlords are retired
  • 15 per cent are self-employed with another job, while 13 per cent regard themselves as self-employed landlords

Are property companies taking over?

  • Individual landlords own fewer properties to rent than those operating their businesses as companies. Most individuals had four or fewer properties, while 56 per cent of companies had five or more homes
  • 94 per cent of landlords let as private individuals
  • 13 per cent rent as property companies while 3 per cent let as individuals and companies
  • 49 per cent of landlords work with a letting agent to manage or find tenants for their properties

How many Section 21 evictions?

  • 67 per cent of rented homes were repossessed with Section 21 no-fault eviction notices
  • 25 per cent of repossessions were gained with Section 8 eviction notices
  • 27 per cent of landlords informally asked tenants to leave
  • 5 per cent offered to pay tenants to leave

Tenants landlords won’t rent to

  • 84 per cent of landlords won’t let to tenants with a history of rent arrears
  • 44 per cent won’t let to tenants on Universal Credit or housing support
  • 48 per cent won’t let to students
  • 45 per cent won’t let to tenants with pets
  • 44 per cent won’t let to tenants needing adaptations to the home
  • 8 per cent of landlords would rent a home to any of the above types of tenant

View Related Handbook Page

Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.