An overwhelming majority of buy-to-let landlords are optimistic about their future in the private rental sector with 84% looking to maintain or expand their portfolio over the next 12 months, fresh research shows.  Just 16% of landlords are looking to reduce the number of properties they have over the next 12 months, according to the latest report published by The Mortgage Lender.

The report, ‘The Mortgage Lender, Buy-to-let: The Landlord Experience’, reveals that the most common number of properties for landlords is between two and four – 45% – while 11% of property investors are now using a limited company structure for their investments.

The report also shows that around half of all landlords agree that tax changes have led to a reduction in the number of private landlords, but just 1% think that has led to a rise in the quality of rental properties. Meanwhile, just 15% of landlords are seeking out specialist tax advice about their rental properties, while only four in 10 – 42% – are using a specialist buy-to-let mortgage broker when organising their borrowing.

Peter Beaumont, The Mortgage Lender’s deputy chief executive, commented:

“Our special report provides an in-depth guide to the buy-to-let market, including landlord obligations and yields around the country.” 

The report also reveals that property maintenance, care of property and tenant behaviour are the top three concerns keeping landlords awake at night.  Beaumont added: “Our panel of landlords have shared their worries and opinions with us and we’ve included landlord case studies to demonstrate the depth of borrower circumstances we are dealing with on a regular basis.”