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Nearly half of all landlords in the UK buy to let (BTL) sector view their portfolio as a long-term retirement investment, according to research from Your Move.

Your Move’s annual Landlord Survey revealed over four in 10 property owners in the BTL sector class themselves as “pension pot” landlords, with nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of this group having been a landlord for 15 years or more.

Your Move surveyed 1,071 buy-to-let landlords to learn more about their portfolios, behaviours and attitudes towards tenants, letting agents and the lettings market.

Pension pot landlords were defined as those over the age of 45 who considered their properties to be a retirement investment.

“Accidental” landlords – those who were not expecting to be landlords – were the second most common type of landlord (29 per cent), followed closely by “professional” landlords (20 per cent).

The survey also revealed that accidental landlords were most likely to be female and under the age of 45.

They were often thrust into the market through inheritance or other changes in their personal circumstances.

Professional landlords, however, tended to be male, over 45 years old, and consider being a landlord as a job or career.

Martyn Alderton, national lettings director, Your Move, says: “Our research suggests that the private rental sector is still seen to offer significant opportunities, providing many landlords with a source of income and funding into retirement.

“It’s also clear that pension pot landlords are keen to build a personal rapport with tenants who will look after their investment.

“As an industry, it’s increasingly important that we continue to support these ties, providing long-term benefits to tenants looking for a property to call their home and also for landlords looking for ways to fund their retirement.”