Nearly half of all buy to let landlords in the UK are using their property investment as a pension pot, a new analysis has found.
The latest annual landlord survey from estate agency network Your Move, also shows that 23% of pension pot landlords have been investing in the buy to let sector for over 15 years.
The survey defines a pension pot landlord as being over the age of 45 with a portfolio as a long term retirement investment and found that over four in 10 owners in the buy to let sector are investing as a pension.
Your Move surveyed 1,071 buy to let landlords to learn more about their portfolios, behaviours and attitudes towards tenants, letting agents and the lettings market.
The research found that 29% are accidental landlords, those who were not expecting to be landlords, while 20% described themselves as professional landlords.
The survey also revealed that accidental landlords are most likely to be female and under the age of 45, often thrust into the market through inheritance or other changes in their personal circumstances. Professional landlords, however, tend to be male, over 45 years old, and consider being a landlord as a job or career.
The findings also showed that pension Pot landlords are more likely to live close to their rental properties than either accidental or professional landlords, with 41% living within one to five miles of the property.
Some 29% of pension pot landlords see their properties as a business, with 53% investing in more than one property. However, even though these landlords may be more investment minded, the survey found that pension pot landlords are also more likely than the other groups to build a personal rapport with tenants and want tenants who will protect their investment.
Indeed, some 18% of pension pot landlords said that they like to meet or talk to new tenants before signing a contract, which was the highest proportion of any group, while 53% felt it was important that tenants view the property as their own home.
‘Our research suggests that the private rental sector is still seen to offer significant opportunities, providing many landlords with a source of income and funding into retirement,’ said Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move.
‘It’s also clear that pension pot landlords are keen to build a personal rapport with tenants who will look after their investment. As an industry, it’s increasingly important that we continue to support these ties, providing long term benefits to tenants looking for a property to call their home and also for landlords looking for ways to fund their retirement,’ he added.