UK landlords benefitting from immigration

Landlords are expecting a rise in demand for rental property as more people choose to move to the UK from other countries.

Following the last wave of EU accession in May 2004, businesses have reported a particularly significant rise in the number of Polish people looking for accommodation. Immigration is expected to receive a further boost if Romania and Bulgaria's applications are ratified.

Paragon Mortgages' most recent Buy-to-Let Trends survey found that 23 per cent of professional landlords with large numbers of renta properties expected rental demand to increase this year.

Approximately two fifths said that this trend was confirmed by an increase over the past five years, with 27 per cent of smaller-scale landlords saying the same.

At last count, the professionals found that they had an average 4.4 non-British tenants, while those with smaller portfolios recorded 0.5 non-nationals.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon, explained: "On the whole landlords are optimistic that tenant demand will continue to rise over the next few years, and inward migration is a key contributory factor.

"Over the past decade migration into the UK has increased steadily from 314,000 in 1994 to 582,000 in 2004, and with further EU enlargement on the agenda it is likely to increase even further."

The survey also showed that landlords hoped to add between 10.6 and 10.9 new properties to their portfolios this year.

Migrants are particularly poplar as tenants as they tend to want to remain in the same place for a considerable period of time, with 15 per cent describing their current tenancy as indefinite.