Landlord News

80,000 Homes Brought onto the Rental Market by Accidental Landlords

Em Morley - December 11, 2017

A slower sales market in the south of England has revived accidental landlords, as more sellers chose to let their properties this year instead of waiting for a sale, according to the latest Monthly Lettings Index from Countrywide.

Around 80,000 homes that came onto the rental market in 2017 had been up for sale within the previous six months, led by London, where 12.5% of homes coming onto the lettings market had previously been up for sale.

With a stronger sales market outside of the capital, hopeful sellers across the rest of the UK were far less likely to put their homes up to let.

Compared with traditional investors, accidental landlords tend to stay in the rental sector for a much shorter period of time. While the average buy-to-let investor owns their rental property for 17 years, a typical accidental landlord lets their home for an average of just 15 months, Countrywide has found.

In fact, the firm reports that almost nine in ten (89%) accidental landlords put their property back up for sale after their first tenant moves out, rather than looking for a new tenant.

The Monthly Lettings Index also reveals that the annual rate of rent price growth picked up in November, with the average price of a new let rising by 1.2% over the previous 12 months, led by gains in the Midlands (2.8%) and northern England (2.3%).

Johnny Morris, the Research Director at Countrywide, says: “While most landlords are in the business by choice, the last three years have seen an increase in the numbers letting out a property they had previously tried to sell. With mortgage rates remaining low, these discretional sellers can afford to let their home while they wait and see what the future holds for the sales market.

“Rental growth in London is once again positive. Every region of Great Britain now has average rents higher than a year ago. And it’s likely that relatively low numbers of rental homes coming onto the market will keep rental growth firmly in positive territory. But growth remains well below the long-run average, with November 2017 marking the second year anniversary of the date when rents last rose by more than 3%.”

Are you an accidental landlord? If so, how long do you plan to stay in the rental market?