About one in 18 British adults now lets out a property to supplement their main income – but many are unaware of basic legal, health and safety regulations according to new research.
That means almost 500,000 landlords have not had their property checked by a gas safety engineer in the last twelve months, risking prosecutions and fines of up to £20,000.
Almost a third have had their property damaged at some point, which has cost them £1,200 on average to repair. Of those who have had property damaged, the main cause has been damage by tenants (44 per cent) followed by flooding (17 per cent) and storm damage (eight per cent).
The research, by LV= landlord insurance, claims that landlords receive £678 in rent each month on average, equating to nearly £28 billion a year across the private rental sector.
Approximately 60 per cent of this landlord income is spent on borrowing costs, management fees and maintenance costs, leaving landlords a healthy pre-tax profit of 40 per cent on average.
The trend is mainly being driven by people moving to a new home and then renting out their old one.
Around 55 per cent of these landlords are letting properties that they never intended to. Around one landlord in 19 says they ended up letting because they moved in with a partner and did not want to sell or couldn’t sell their own home.
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