Part-time landlords are earning more than £28 billion in rents but are failing to put the cash back into looking after their properties, claims a new survey.
Around 7% of people rent out a home to supplement their income, mainly as long-term buy to lets.
Tenants pay an average £678 a month rent.
However, says the research by insurer LV=, 500,000 landlords have not had a statutory gas check in the past year.
While a third of these landlords have spent an average £1,200 on repairs.
The financial firm says the buy to let boom is fuelled by people moving to a new home and renting out their former home.
More than a half of these landlords (55%) rent out homes they never intended to let because they have been forced to move.
The main reasons include:
- A desire for a larger home (15%)
- Moving for work (10%)
- Wanting a garden (8%)
- Moving in with a partner and either did not want or could not sell their home (6%)
But, says the insurer, many of these reluctant landlords do not understand housing law and fail to comply with basic gas and electrical safety standards or do not lodge deposits with a tenancy deposit protection scheme.
The study also shows thousands of landlords fail to protect their property and tenants with the right insurance as standard household cover is not sufficient for rental homes.
John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= landlord insurance, said: “Renting out a property can be a great way to cover your costs if you are unable to sell or want to hold on to a home and make some extra money from it, but it is not without risk.
“Landlords not only need cover for any damage to their property but they also need to think about their tenants and how they will house them if the property becomes uninhabitable, as well as the lost rental income.
“If you are thinking of renting out a property you should check the current regulations for letting properties in your area and make sure you have the right cover in place.”