The private rented sector in the UK grew from 9.4% of the housing stock in 2000 to 19% of a considerably larger overall stock in 2014—that is, the number of units rented privately increased by almost 125% over a fifteen-year period. Much of this growth came through the change of tenure of existing housing, as owner-occupied and social rented units were purchased by landlords—mostly private individuals, including in particular those funded by Buy to Let (BTL) mortgages.
In this context the CML decided to undertake a new landlord survey. This would allow comparison with their 2004 survey of the BTL sector (see Scanlon and Whitehead 2005) but also look more widely at landlords across the sector, regardless of their financing. The objective was to provide up-to-date information on private landlords and why they are in the market; the attributes of dwellings and portfolios; how ownership is financed and the rates of return achieved; landlords’ responses to changes in government policy and their short- and longer-term intentions with respect to their portfolios.