I think we all know there is no such thing as a typical landlord - we all come from different backgrounds with differing aims and objectives, indeed many never intend to be landlords at all and just find themselves with an empty property for some reason.
However, we frequently see surveys that try to summarise the key attributes that define a landlord - if only it was so easy, we could send them all a letter asking them to join the PDPLA! The latest such survey has been commissioned by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (so not independent) and does not state how large the sample population was or how it was comprised. Whilst not ignoring this dubious authenticity, it does come up with a key finding that does ring true - most landlords see property rental as a part-time activity that supplements their income. (We do hope they did not pay too much to work this out - but anyway, for more information do read the full article from the CML below).
"The modern rise of the private rented sector needs little introduction. It has been well chronicled that shifts in demographics and economic trends have greatly boosted the sector, which now houses about one in five households.
Recent estimates based on data from HM Revenue & Customs suggest that there are at least 1.75 million landlords in the UK, who collectively earned a net £14.2 billion in rental income last year. While a fair amount of research has been done on how the profile of tenants has changed, there is less data available on the changing profile of landlords. At the CML, we have noted with concern the lack of such research, since the circumstances and motivation of landlords can have a substantial impact on how policy changes feed through into the wider housing market.
Typically, the 'go to' source for publicly available data on the profile of landlords has been the Department for Communities and Local Government"s private landlord survey (PLS). This survey, which samples landlords and property managers in England, provides a snapshot of the composition, experience, and attitudes prevailing among those providing rented accommodation. However, the survey has not been repeated since 2010, which casts doubt over whether it still accurately reflects the profile of landlords.
Updating the survey
In order to understand what has changed since then, the CML partnered with BDRC and the London School of Economics to conduct a new landlord survey. The questionnaire contains some questions repeated from 2010 PLS, and some new questions to probe how landlords have responded to recent changes in the rental market. Surveys were conducted in early June 2016. Although landlords across the UK were sampled, this article will only present results for English landlords, so data is comparable to that of the 2010 PLS. Wherever possible, we have maintained the 2010 PLS definitions for various categories of landlordsâ€”ie, private individuals, companies, full-time and part-time landlords, etc.
The timing of our survey means that landlords were able to anticipate the potential impact of proposed tax changes affecting the sector, even though many of these measures have yet to come into effect. Future surveys would shed more light on the effects of these tax changes.
While this data makes for some interesting comparisons, we note that these two surveys do not follow the same cohort, and therefore we caution readers not to ascribe too much significance to small changes in any given category.
Finding One: As in 2010, the majority of landlords still consider property rental to be their part-time activity, and most manage their portfolios as private individuals.
Finding Two: While most landlords still own just one property, there is an apparent trend towards larger portfolios.
Finding Three: Generally, rental receipts make up less than half of a landlord"s total income. However, evidence suggests that rent is increasingly becoming a significant income stream.
To sum up, while it looks like the typical landlord is still an individual running a rental business on the side, there appears to have been a gradual expansion of these side businessesâ€”which, given the rise in demand for rented accommodation, should come as no surprise.
Now that we have looked at what has changed, is there anything we can say about what landlords see coming down the track? The final question in our survey asked landlords to describe, in their own words, how the changing environment would impact their lettings over the next decade. Although it is hard to summarise the wide range of responses we received, nearly 16% cited government policy or tax changes as relevant factors motivating future plans for their portfolio.
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.