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A fifth of BTL borrowers are “accidental landlords”

A fifth of buy-to-let borrowers are “accidental landlords”, research by Foundation Home Loans has revealed.

When asked how they first became a landlord, 14 per cent stated this was via an accidental circumstance such as through marriage, relocation or other circumstance, meaning they are suddenly faced with different rules and regulations to understand.

Almost one in ten (9 per cent) landlords inherited their properties, something that comes with its own complex tax challenges to navigate.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of all landlords surveyed became a property investor purely for financial reasons, considering it to be an attractive opportunity, with 21 per cent planning to use earned rental income to fund their retirement plans.

A fifth (21 per cent) 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.

Most landlords (60 per cent) do have another full-time job and handle rentals in their spare time and a fifth (19 per cent) have a part-time.

Regardless of how the circumstance came about, or how much time is spent on day-to-day management, one in seven (17 per cent) admitted they would be increasing the size of their portfolio in the next 12 months, having recognised the benefits from investing in buy-to-let.

Foundation Home Loans marketing director Jeff Knight says: “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.

He adds: “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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