What does today's average landlord look like?

If you’re a private landlord with a portfolio made up of a number of properties, you might have wondered in the past whether you fit the classic landlord profile? Or do your circumstances mean that you’re bucking the national trend?

To know the answer to this, you need to know what the average landlord looks like. How old are they? Do they still work, or are they retired? And what are the average earnings from their rentals?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) answers these questions and more in its 2018 English Private Landlord Survey. Let’s unravel some of the key facts and figures shared in the report, which together paint an accurate picture of today’s landlord.

How do you compare?

They earn £15,000 per year

On average, landlords report a gross, annual rental income of £15,000 – that’s before tax and other deductions. For the majority of landlords, rental income accounts for two fifths (42%) of their total gross income. Just over one quarter (26%) of landlords report a gross rental income of between £20,000 and £49,999, while 13% report receiving £50,000 or more.

They’re over 55

The typical private landlord is over 55 years old (59%) and, as such, one third (33%) are retired. The report also notes how landlords are typically less ethnically diverse compared with the overall population, with 89% being white.

They operate as private individuals

Almost all (94%) landlords rent property as an individual. Only 4% rent property as part of a company and 2% as part of another type of organisation.

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They’re experienced

Many of today’s landlords have been letting private property for some time. In fact, 70% have let property for six years or more. The average length of time survey respondents have been landlords worked out as 11.5 years.

They prefer property over other investment types

Why did you become a landlord? Many of the respondents (46%) chose to enter the rental market because they preferred property to other types of investment, while 44% did so in order to support their pension pot. Perhaps surprisingly, just 4% of people became a landlord with the intention of renting property as a full-time job.

They have different intentions to agencies

There are a couple of significant differences between the letting practices of landlords and letting agents. Mainly, that landlords are less likely to increase the rent for new tenants, as well as for tenancy renewals.

Specifically, 50% of agents in the study had raised the rent for their last letting, dropping to 42% of landlords. While for the most recent renewal, 70% of landlords kept the rent unchanged, versus 63% of agents.

In terms of deposit size, 61% of agents took between four and six weeks’ rent, compared with 45% of landlords. Then, nearly half (47%) of landlords took a deposit of up to four weeks’ rent, compared with 29% of agents.

Landlords are choosier about tenants than agencies

Another difference between landlords and agencies is that landlords are pickier when it comes to their tenants. More than half (52%) of landlords said they would be unwilling to let their property to tenants who receive Housing Benefit, with just 37% of agents saying the same. 47% of landlords and 33% of agents said they wouldn’t let to people on Universal Credit. The main reasons cited by both parties were the risk of delayed payment, unpaid rent, or that benefits would not be sufficient enough to cover rent.

One quarter of landlords and 10% of agents said that they would not let property to non-UK passport holders, though they weren’t asked to give their reasons.

Nearly two in 10 (18%) landlords and 6% of agents said they would be unwilling to let to families. In most cases this was because of fears the property or properties were unsuitable for families, or due to the increased risk of property damage.

Protecting your investment with landlord insurance

Whether you fit the typical landlord profile or not, all landlords share the desire to protect their properties – and therefore their investment – with robust landlord insurance.

Stride are experts in landlord insurance and can set you up with a bespoke policy tailored to your specific assets, for a competitive price. Choose us and you’ll enjoy a wide range of benefits as standard, including building and contents cover, property owner’s liability cover and protection against loss or rent due to property damage.

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