Separate DPS survey of letting agents clients reveals almost 30% believe larger landlords are buying properties off those with more modest portfolios

Bristol, UK – A survey of more than 1,000 landlord clients of The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) has revealed significant structural changes taking place inside the private rental sector (PRS).

The survey by the UK’s largest protector of deposits shows that double the proportion of landlords with two or fewer properties are planning to sell up and leave the rental market, compared with those who have portfolios comprising more than 10 properties (24.47% compared with 12.16%).

The research also shows how almost three times the proportion of landlords with portfolios larger than 10 properties intend to buy more compared with those who own one or two (13.51% compared with 5.63%).

The survey also reveals that, of those intending to leave the market, more than twice the proportion of landlords who are not set up as a business for the purposes of renting intend to sell all of their properties and leave the PRS altogether compared to those operating a limited company (21.72% compared with 10.34%).

Separate research by the organisation also suggests that some larger landlords are buying up the properties of those with smaller portfolios.

Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS, said: “Whilst the volumes of tenancies we protect remains unchanged, the data suggest that landlords operating on a larger scale are showing a stronger commitment to the PRS compared with those with fewer properties.

“Landlords with a higher number of properties typically choose to place their businesses inside limited companies in order to better manage their costs, which are impacted by high interest rates and tax changes.

“We are also seeing different intentions emerge among landlords who use companies compared with those who don’t, suggesting that how a landlord chooses to organise their business has a significant impact on their attitude towards the market.”

Paul Fryers, Managing Director at Zephyr Homeloans, a specialist BTL lender, also owned by the Computershare group, said:

“Landlords using a company for their business operations to control costs is fast becoming the norm and such landlords comprise the vast majority of our customers. “Landlords who last summer were paying around 4.38% on a typical five-year variable buy-to-let mortgage are now typically paying around 6.22% - an extra three hundred pounds a month on a £200,000 loan.

“We would encourage brokers to work closely with their landlord customers to thoroughly investigate the most effective ownership options for their existing portfolio or additional property investments.”

Buying intentions

The survey also revealed that six times the proportion of landlords who operate a limited company intend to buy more property compared to those who are not set up as a business for the purpose of renting (24.14% compared to 4.64%).

Only 8% of landlords operating as sole traders intend to buy more rental properties; 21.72% of them intend to sell all their properties and leave the rental market altogether, the DPS added.

Accidental landlords

The survey also reveals that twice the proportion of landlords renting out property that used to be their own address intend to sell all their properties and leave the rental market altogether compared to landlords that bought their property to rent it out (35.80% versus 18.08%).

By contrast more than twice the proportion of landlords who bought property to rent it out intend to buy more property compared to those renting out property that used to be their own address (9.12% compared to 4.32%), the organisation added.

Letting agent data

A separate DPS survey of letting agents’ clients reveals that 28% believe that larger landlords are more frequently purchasing properties from those with more modest portfolios.

The second study also reveals that 36% believe that more landlords are now setting up as a business.




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Sarah Chidgey



  1. For high resolution images of spokespeople, visit
  2. 1,047 DPS landlord customers responded to the landlord survey, which took place between 22 August and 4 September 2023.
  3. The results were segmented according to whether landlords agreed they were set up as a business, including as a limited company, for the purposes of renting.
  4. The DPS also questioned 911 letting agent clients as part of its annual customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey, which took place between 11 September and 2 October 2023. Details of changes in mortgage rates are contained in a report by consumer watchdog Which?, which was issued on 8 November 2023. What's happening to buy-to-let mortgage rates? - Which? News

About The DPS

The Deposit Protection Service’s custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme is accredited by the Government. It is provided free of charge, and funded entirely by the interest earned from deposits held in the scheme. The DPS was approved by the UK government to run an insured TDP scheme in September 2012 in addition to the approval it has already been granted by the UK government in respect of the custodial scheme. The DPS is run by Computershare Investor Services PLC. Online self-service allows landlords to register and make deposit payments, transfers and repayments 24 hours a day. Help and advice is available through a dedicated call centre during office hours. An impartial Dispute Resolution Service, helps to resolve any disputes quickly and without the need for court action.


Zephyr Homeloans

Zephyr Homeloans is a dedicated buy-to-let lender, providing a range of mortgage products that are focused on meeting the needs of professional portfolio landlords and other specialist property investors. We understand that the buy-to-let market is evolving and becoming more complex, with new tax rules and regulations amidst underwriting and criteria changes from mortgage lenders leading to some confusion in the buy-to-let sector. At Zephyr Homeloans, we aim to support intermediaries by staying one step ahead of the market, offering proactive guidance and providing mortgage solutions that will help you to meet the needs of your clients.

Zephyr Homeloans is a trading name of Topaz Finance Limited (Company No 05946900) which is registered in England and Wales, with its registered office at The Pavilions, Bridgwater Road, Bristol BS13 8AE. Topaz Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference No 461671). Most buy-to-let mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Zephyr Homeloans is a trading name of Topaz Finance Limited, and is part of Computershare Loan Services, a division of the Computershare Group.


About Computershare Limited

Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialise in corporate trust and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.

Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world’s leading organisations use us to streamline and maximise the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers.

Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 14,000 employees worldwide.

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