Landlord Leaders driving professionalisation of the UK Private Rented Sector

Press Release; 24 November 2022


  • 92% of professional landlords are confident about the future
  • 26% of part-time landlords are considering leaving the sector due to the current environment.

The shape of the UK Private Rented Sector has fundamentally changed, with a shift towards a more tenant-centric approach becoming the norm, according to a new report from OSB Group.

The report finds that 92% of professional landlords are confident about the future, with 64% agreeing, or acknowledging, that the sector is professionalising. 34% of landlords cited improving the lives of tenants as the top benefit of this professionalisation and 72% say they have, or will, spend more time thinking about tenant experience – highlighting the widespread nature of tenant-centric strategies.

However, while this reflects the motivations of professional landlords - those who own multiple properties and make their main income from them - the report shows a different story for part-time landlords.

According to the report, 26% of part-time landlords, those who earn money from renting out properties but not as their main income, are considering leaving the sector and worry about their future within the industry.

Yet despite the changes afoot in the sector, professional landlords believe plenty of opportunity remains. Their motivations of earning potential (39%), building their own company (33%) and social causes such as providing housing for those who need it (29%), mean they are already a step ahead of potential legislation - over half (68%) have already, or plan to, invest in environmental upgrades to ensure their properties stay ahead of the market.

As a demonstration of their entrepreneurial thinking, the majority of professional landlords have either already become or plan to become LLCs (76%), hire more staff (73%) and employ external consultants (72%). They are also active in portfolio management with 80% of professional landlords saying they either have or plan to increase the size of their portfolio, compared to just 40% of part-time landlords.

In order to support landlords who are leading in the shift to more socially-focused and environmentally-friendly housing, OSB Group is today announcing a package of measures to support the building of a future-focused sustainable industry:

  • A new Landlord Leader Fund to support OSB Group’s existing landlords in transitioning their properties to an EPC rating of C or above in 2023. The fund makes an initial £50 million of ear-marked lending available at subsidised mortgage rates, covering both new loans with refurbishment needs and standalone refurbishment projects (subject to criteria)
  • A new product range for those landlords delivered through the Landlord Leader Fund, with accommodating LTVs and ICRs during refurbishment, to improve the property value and appeal to tenants
  • Partnering with tax specialists who can provide advice and guidance on tax planning for part-time landlords looking to professionalise, including incorporating as a limited company and the treatment of qualifying capital expenditure.

Alongside these initiatives, OSB Group is launching series of new industry partnerships, piloting new uses of data to help tenants and landlords to make informed decisions. These innovators include Sero, with whom OSB Group is testing a proof of concept that provides landlords with a free detailed survey delivering a pathway to a net zero home, with other partnerships to follow.

The specialist lender is also creating a Landlord Leaders community to bring together brokers, landlords and other industry members to develop a collective manifesto for change in the first half of 2023.

Andy Golding, Group Chief Executive, OSB Group, said: “The time has come for the Private Rented Sector to seriously consider what is next. We are on the precipice of change which will create significant benefits for tenants, but at what cost? There is an opportunity for the industry to rise to this new challenge and help support both professional and part-time landlords to ensure the industry thrives and continues to focus on its tenants.”

“Landlord Leaders, the professional landlords driving change, offer a great learning opportunity for the rest of the industry. Their confidence and tenant-centric approach should be something that is matched by others across the industry. However, we know there are challenges faced at every turn, including by part-time landlords, and these should not be diminished or forgotten.”

“OSB Group is proud to partner with and support landlords, brokers and tenants across the industry and hope that the measures we plan to implement over the next couple of years will continue to drive positive, tangible change across the industry. We call on other industry participants to consider more actions that need to be taken to ensure the right support structures are in place.”

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