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March 4

2019
by Millie Wickens
How many buy to let landlords are there in the UK? Government release latest figures

New data revealed by the Treasury provides greater detail on the number of landlords in the UK.

Until now, the Office for National Statistics tracked the number of private rented homes through the English Housing Survey and the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland monitored the number of buy to lets and houses in multiple occupation with licensing schemes. However, the governments did not count landlords.

New information released by Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride, in response to a written question in Parliament by Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey, provides greater clarification.

Healey asked what estimate the minister has when it comes to the number and proportion of landlords in each local authority area registered for self-assessment with HM Revenue and Customs.

The minister produced an extensive table detailing the number of landlords living in each local authority area in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The number of landlords totals 2,594,720 – with the most (2,266,770) living in England. Scotland has 158,505 landlords, Wales 104,450 and Northern Ireland 64,995.

The local authority areas with the fewest landlords are the Isles of Scilly (285), Blaenau Gwent (890), the Shetland Isles and the Western Isles (both 905).

These figures cover where landlords live, not where their properties are located.

Counting the number of private rented homes is still fragmented. The latest data from each government shows around 5.45 million homes are let as buy to lets or shared houses.

Broken down by country, 4.85 million are in England, 393,000 in Scotland, 197,523 in Wales and 9,759 in Northern Ireland.

Where most landlords live – the top 10 local authorities

Local Authority Number of landlords
Cornwall 36460
Barnet 28970
Wiltshire 26240
Birmingham 25275
Leeds 23715
City of Edinburgh 22830
Wandsworth 21155
Cheshire East 19300
Redbridge 19055
Harrow 19055
Total: 242055

Source: HMRC