Two thirds of landlords in Britain rent out property to supplement their main income, with administrators, IT professionals, teachers, and accountants the top four jobs cited by landlords who took part in a survey conducted by online letting agent MakeUrMove.

Only 5 per cent of landlords are professionals and own five properties or more, and just 18 per cent became landlords because they wanted to create a property business.

Some 16 per cent let a property they inherited, and 22 per cent became landlords through various other accidental and unplanned circumstances, such as splitting with a partner or being unable to sell a house.

Alexandra Morris, managing director of MakeUrMove, said: "The reality is that wealthy, multi-property owning landlords are quite rare.

"With 53 per cent of landlords owning one single property, it’s clear that most landlords are not living off a portfolio of properties.”

Richard Truman, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance, said: “This study certainly reflects the make-up of the market, with smaller, accidental landlords making up the largest chunk. But in order to stay on top, our own research shows that even accidental landlords are having to become more professional to stay successful.”

Indeed, the MakeUrMove survey seems to suggest many accidental landlords are exiting the market after just a few tenancies.

“Landlords are having to change with the market,” added Richard. “Accidental landlord are increasingly struggling to make their businesses work, unless they’re running them as proper investment businesses.

“Small landlords are the backbone of the Private Rental Sector, but they’re having to adapt to a changing market.”