According to the 2014/15 English Housing Survey, 28% of dwellings in London are privately rented – with the capital having a higher proportion of privately renting tenants than any other English region.
In London, about 50% of landlords report at least £1,000 of monthly disposable income while, outside the capital, only one-third report this level of income.
London landlords are 27% more likely to be in full-time employment, and 37% less likely to be retired than landlords in the rest of the country.
They are are about 25% less likely to start out as an “accidental” landlord and 50% more likely to become a landlord after moving in with a partner who also owns their own home.
The average age of first-time landlords in London is 42, compared to 47 outside the capital.
When it comes to types of property owned, London landlords are more likely to let out flats. 79% own flats to let, while 47% have houses of some type. In the rest of the country, just 40% of landlords rent flats, while 84% rent houses.
The distribution of property ownership among landlords in London is similar to the rest of the UK. Some 60% of those in London own a single property, while a further 20% own two properties – mirroring the distribution in the rest of the UK. Likewise, about 10% of landlords in London own five or more properties, similar to the rest of the UK.
Landlords in the capital are also just as likely as those elsewhere to offer tenancies of more than 12 months. Almost 60% of UK landlords indicated that they would offer tenancies of longer than a year, with little variation across regions.
London landlords are marginally better informed of tax changes that will affect the private rented sector. This may reflect the higher incomes and wider prevalence of buy-to-let borrowing in London – particularly as those landlords would be most affected by proposals to reduce the amount of mortgage interest that can be deducted against tax.
The use of letting agents is more common in London, but London landlords are less likely to opt for full management through the agent.
Using a limited company structure is still fairly uncommon, both in and out of London. Only 6.2% of landlords in the capital are incorporated (or planning to become so), versus 2.8% outside London.