New research from Countrywide indicates that approximately 8.2% of homes that were bought to the UK rental market in 2017 had been on sale within the last 6 months, which equates to a massive 80,000 rental properties entering the lettings market due to ‘accidental landlords’.
Unsurprisingly London experienced the most rental homes entering the market that had previously been for sale, with the city on its own experiencing 12.5% of accidental landlords in 2017.
Behind London the North East, North West and Wales also saw higher levels of accidental landlords, all above 8% of the rental properties bought to market.
Research director at Countrywide, Johnny Morris, commented “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.”
He continued, “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.”
Whilst this sees a short-term boost for the UK lettings market it is important to note that unlike most landlords, accidental landlords only generally let out their properties for 15 months (as opposed to 17 years) and are more likely to sell their property once the first tenant has vacated.
The number of accidental landlords may be increased, in part, by growing rents nationwide meaning that sellers can now opt to wait before selling.
With rents seeming to be on a positive upward curve that shows no signs of slowing, it is likely that we may experience an even higher number of accidental landlords in 2018.