More than 78% of landlords have revealed that they find it difficult to impossible to keep up with the onslaught of regulatory and legislative changes affecting the private rental sector – according to new research.

The findings – from property marketplace The House Shop – support Simple Landlords ‘emerging landlord’ report which launched last week, and saw an increasing divide between the smaller, part-time, often ‘accidental’ landlords, and the bigger, professional investors.

Richard Truman, Head of Operations at Simple, said: “There really has been an unprecedented amount of change in the sector, and keeping on top of it is practically a full-time job. But for many landlords, property isn’t a full time job, and it’s clear they’re struggling to keep on top of the changes.

“Having said that, there’s also a lot of support for regulation – 60% of landlords we spoke to were in favour of more regulation in the sector – rising to 70% amongst bigger landlords. “In fact the bigger the landlord, the better informed they seem to be, and the more confident they are about the future.”

The House Shop estimate there are over 145 individual laws and more than 400 regulations relating to the private rented sector, making it harder than ever for landlords to keep up.

They found that only 9% of landlords found it ‘easy’ to keep on top of compliance and regulations, while 63% cited it as the most challenging part of the job.

Nick Marr, co-founder of The House Shop, said: “It’s a really difficult environment that landlords are operating in at the moment. The Government have undertaken a range of measures to try and drive up standards in the rental industry, and while this is by no means a bad thing, it does mean that landlords have increasingly complex and wide-ranging responsibilities to deal with.”

Richard added: “Successful landlords are rolling with the changes, and know that due diligence on regulations could save them from making potentially expensive investment mistakes.

“Making contact with your local authority, keeping an eye on government announcements, plugging yourself into industry bodies or joining landlord groups or associations are all good ways of keeping yourself up to date.”