More than a third of landlords (37%) are considering offloading their rental portfolio in the next few years, with 30% citing the pressure and cost of too much regulation.

New research by AXA UK reveals that 15% are thinking about reducing their portfolio, with younger landlords most likely to consider this (24%).

Its poll of 1,000 landlords found that 48% name red tape as the biggest challenge – with electrical safety measure checks (34%) and tax changes (30%) seen as the biggest concerns – closely followed by increased maintenance costs (42%).

But despite a tricky year, two thirds (66%) of landlords still think the role is profitable, and more than half (56%) enjoy it, while 49% feel positive about the future and 31% feel neutral, leaving only 20% feeling negative.

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For 43%, steady income and having a long-term investment for the future are considered the top benefits of being a landlord.

Female landlords are more likely to view their rental portfolio as a long-term investment (49% compared with 40% of men), while those aged 55 and over are more interested in the steady income than younger landlords (54% compared to 24% of those aged 18-34).

When it comes to the most common disputes landlords have with their tenants, 29% put damage to property at the top of the list, matched only by paying rent on time.

Deepak Soni (pictured), director of commercial at AXA UK, says: “It’s encouraging to learn that despite these challenges, landlords are still reaping the rewards of a profitable business and will continue to grow their portfolios.”

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