Nearly one third (31 per cent) of landlords are now making a profitable, full-time living from property investment, compared to 26 per cent three years ago, new research has revealed.

Rents in the UK are set to rise as demand for rental properties outpaces the number of homes coming on to the private rental market, Kent Reliance’s Buy To Let (BTL) Britain report claims.

And although tax and regulatory changes have slowed the market, the report says the future looks bright for investors.

The findings echo Simple Landlords Insurance’s own research, which found an ‘emerging’ class of landlord adapting to market changes, thinking about property differently, and investing in different areas.

Andy Golding, chief executive of OneSavings Bank, which trades under the Kent Reliance and InterBay brands in buy-to-let, said: “Landlords were left reeling after the introduction of tighter regulation and higher taxes, while the spectre of Brexit is already weighing on the housing market.

“Political opinion may be set against the private rented sector (PRS), but without it, the housing crisis would be deeper still.

"First-time buyer numbers, despite recent fanfare, are a long way from pre-recession levels and with household numbers growing, and new housing starts inadequate, it is the private rented sector (PRS) that will continue to pick up the slack.

"Policy should recognise that, and support growth in supply across all tenures.

“A housing market with dwindling supply of rental accommodation yet growing demand would, without a significant rise in affordable housing, provide the worst of all worlds for tenants: higher rents, with less choice and security, hampering their ability to save to buy a home.”