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Whether you are an accidental landlord after inheriting a property from someone else, becoming a landlord for the first time, or looking to expand your portfolio further, if you ensure things get done correctly, you can make high rental yields on a buy-to-let in Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire is a pretty large county. At CIA Landlord Insurance, we are a specialist landlord insurance brokerage working closely with top providers. Here, we have delved into where’s the best place to own a buy-to-let in Hertfordshire. Carry on reading to learn more. 

Why is getting a buy-to-let in Hertfordshire a good investment? 

Hertfordshire has majestic nature reserves and countryside, Saint Albans where you will find Britain’s first saint buried in the cathedral, the friendly Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City, and the town of Watford is home to the hornets football team at Vicarage Road. Therefore, it is little shock that the county is attractive to rental tenants. It will offer your tenants the best of both worlds, access to towns with plenty to do and explore and nearby local amenities, while also living alongside beautiful green areas and fields. 

What’s more, Hertfordshire is right on London’s doorstep! Saint Albans City Station – London St Pancras is a direct train that takes just 20 minutes, and likewise, Watford – London Euston is also a 20-minute train. If you are on the other side of Hertfordshire, Stevenage – Kings Cross only takes 25 minutes. So, as a landlord, this means that you can definitely tap into the commuter market by investing in a buy-to-let in Hertfordshirdshire. Whether your tenants are young professionals, couples, or families with parents heading to London for work.

Image of a buy-to-let sign.

House prices in Hertfordshire

A big part of a landlord’s decision-making from an investment point of view centres around assessing the purchase cost of a house vs. what you earn back in rental income from tenants. This equation is your rental yield. 

The local government data in the table below taken from the fourth financial quarter of 2022 will give you a clear idea about average house prices in Hertfordshire countywide.

To put the findings below about Hertfordshire in context, in England, the national mean house price of flats/maisonettes (existing dwellings) in Q4 of 2022 was £304,283, £314,619 for terraced houses, £330,283 for semi-detached houses, and £550,378 for detached houses. So, terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses in Hertfordshire are all priced higher than the national average in England.

County Mean house price (existing dwellings) of flats/maisonettes Mean house price of terraced houses Mean house price of semi-detached houses Mean house price of detached houses
Hertfordshire  £279,203 £450,794 £587,619 £985,870


You now ought to be aware that Hertfordshire isn’t the cheapest place to purchase a buy-to-let property. However, this does not mean that all is lost and it is not a great place to invest in property. Landlords can still make considerable rental incomes in the county since it is a popular location with renters who are willing to pay high monthly fees to live there.

In the next section, we go into more detail and take a look at the average monthly rent you can expect to make for various property types in each of the different local authorities within the county of Hertfordshire.

Rent prices in different areas of Hertfordshire

Of course, following the rules and regulations and treating tenants with respect are of paramount importance when you are a landlord. But ultimately, it is no secret that it won’t be a worthwhile investment if there are no prospects of you making profits in your rental yields.

Hertfordshire covers around 634 square miles, and the region is home to around 1.2 million residents. Therefore, rent prices vary considerably throughout the region. It is a diverse county, and the wages of local residents will be higher in some areas than others.

The county is home to ten different local authorities all with their own local district councils. Now let’s take a look at average rent prices for different types of properties for each of the local authorities in Hertfordshire to give you a better understanding of where’s the best place to own a buy-to-let in the county.

In Three Rivers, Watford, and Hertsmere you can expect the highest rental income for a one-bedroom property

Are you thinking about getting a one-bedroom buy-to-let in Hertfordshire, and you want to know what you can get for them in rent per month? The local government data from April 2022 to March 2023 for one-bedroom properties we have used in the table below shows that private landlords in Three Rivers, Watford, and Hertsmere on average should receive over £1,000 per month in rent. But why is this so? Well, all three of these districts are located just to the North of London at an easy commuting distance. What’s more, if your tenants want to be surrounded by greenery and get themselves out in the open air, living in Three Rivers they will have Oxhey Woods woodland on their doorstep.

On the other end of the spectrum, our research found that the lowest rents in Hertfordshire are in the local authority districts of North Herts and Stevenage. This could be because North Hertfordshire, despite being a beautiful part of the world, is a bit further away from the capital. 

The national average for monthly private sector rent for a one-bed property in England 2022-2023 was £800, therefore, Hertfordshire is a little more pricey compared to the rest of England when it comes to rent costs for a one bed. 

Ranking (highest-lowest monthly rent) Hertfordshire local authority Average monthly private sector rent for a one-bedroom property
1 Three Rivers £1,045
2 Watford £1,034
3 Hertsmere £1,023
4 St Albans £990
5 Broxbourne £917
6 Dacorum £916
7 East Herts £891
8 Welwyn Hatfield £862
9 North Herts £811
10 Stevenage £806


St Albans has the highest average rent in Hertfordshire for two-bed properties

If you are considering renting to couples or small-size families as your target market, then you may want to get a two-bedroom property in Hertfordshire. Our research has uncovered that the highest average monthly private sector rents for two-bedroom properties in Hertfordshire are in the beautiful ancient Roman cathedral city of St Albans, priced at £1,382.

Hertsmere and Watford came closely behind, where average monthly private sector rents for two beds are £1,363 and £1,325 respectively. North Herts local authority had the lowest average monthly rent in the county for two-bed homes at £1,032 per month.

Image of St Albans skyline.

Ranking (highest-lowest monthly rent) Hertfordshire local authority Average monthly private sector rent for a two-bedroom property
1 St Albans 1,382
2 Hertsmere 1,363
3 Watford £1,325
4 Three Rivers £1,309
5 Dacorum £1,173
6 East Herts £1,157
7 Welwyn Hatfield £1,143
8 Broxbourne £1,137
9 Stevenage £1,055
10 North Herts £1,032


Three bedroom buy to lets in St Albans fetch the highest average monthly rent in Hertfordshire

If you want to rent to larger families with two or three children, you may look to invest in a three-bedroom property in Hertfordshire. 

Our research revealed that you can expect the highest rents in St Albans. Own a three-bed buy-to-let in the cathedral city of Herts, and you can expect to get around £1,877 according to local government records we have gathered from 2022-2023. Per year, that will amount to an average rental income of £22,524. 

This definitely sounds like a nice chunk of money, just bear in mind that if you are an individual investor, your earnings from rent will be eligible for standard income tax. Another option is for you to set up a Limited Company to buy a buy-to-let property, your rental income will then incur corporation tax, which is lower. However, it can be harder to get a mortgage when you try to buy a property through a limited company. 

On the other end of the scale, our findings showed that North Herts and Stevenage are the local authority areas of Hertfordshire with the lowest average monthly private sector rent for three-bed properties.

Ranking (highest-lowest monthly rent) Hertfordshire local authority Average monthly private sector rent for a three-bedroom property
1 St Albans £1,877
2 Hertsmere £1,721
3 Three Rivers £1,691
4 Watford £1,565
5 East Herts £1,521
6 Broxbourne £1,517
7 Dacorum £1,492
8 Welwyn Hatfield £1,456
9 North Herts £1,325
10 Stevenage £1,286


St Albans, Hertsmere, and Three Rivers have the highest average monthly rents in Herts for four+ bedroom homes

Do you want to become an HMO landlord for student tenants? After all, there is the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield. Alternatively, you may be considering becoming a landlord for larger families. If either of these situations apply to you, then you could be after four+ bedroom homes in Hertfordshire. 

There are extra responsibilities that come with being a landlord to tenants a large number of tenants. For instance, you must have an HMO licence from the local council if your buy-to-let is occupied by five or more people.

Our data shows St Albans to have an average monthly rent for four + bedroom properties of £2,809, a fair way ahead of Hertsmere where it is £2,572. The average monthly rent in Stevenage for four+ bed homes is almost £1,000 lower at £1,614.

Ranking (highest-lowest monthly rent) Hertfordshire local authority Average monthly private sector rent for a four + bedroom property
1 St Albans £2,809
2 Hertsmere £2,572
3 Three Rivers £2,441
4 East Herts £2,226
5 Watford £2,205
6 Welwyn Hatfield £2,110
7 Dacorum £2,072
8 Broxbourne £1,927
9 North Herts £1,861
10 Stevenage £1,614


How much will renovations to your buy-to-let cost? 

Something that can always eat into your monthly rental yields as a landlord is overheads, particularly property maintenance and repairs, upgrades, and renovations. Regardless of the location of your buy-to-let, tenants will want to live in a property that is nicely appointed, well maintained, and renovated to a high standard, so don’t let them down. 

Unless you are a dab hand at DIY or a professional builder, you may well have to hire professionals to carry out structural repairs and alterations to your property. For example, you may want an extension to create extra rooms in the property, so you can in turn earn more rental money. We therefore decided to take a look at the average daily fees that builders charge in each local authority in Hertfordshire. 

Average daily fees for builders in each Hertfordshire local authority district

As mentioned, if you are getting workers in to carry out upgrades and renovations that will improve your buy-to-let and possibly raise the amount of rent that tenants are willing to pay, you will need to factor in the daily costs of how much you are willing to pay workpeople such as builders. So, we decided to collect some local data to give you an idea of how much builders would cost to hire for some renovation work.

The best-priced builders are in East Herts, St Albans, and Hertsmere

The most affordably priced builders to perform renovations to your buy-to-let can be found in the East Herts, St Albans, and Hertsmere areas of Hertfordshire according to the information we have collected. The prospect of affordable home renovations in St Albans is a big plus if you are thinking about becoming a landlord in the area as an investment because rents also happen to be particularly high there.

Ranking (lowest-highest cost per day) Hertfordshire local authority Average daily labour cost for builders
1 East Herts £218
2 St Albans £235
3 Hertsmere £240
4 N Herts £250
5 Stevenage £257.50
6 Broxbourne £265
7 Welwyn Hatfield £270
8 Dacorum £280
9 Watford £325
10 Three Rivers £340


Does buying a property near good schools make it more desirable to renters? 

Yes, buying property near good schools in Hertfordshire is a smart idea for landlords. Why? It is because it will make your buy-to-let infinitely more attractive to families looking to rent in the area. A large number of parents will want to live near a well-performing local school where their children can enjoy the best possible education and support, and this often means living within the relevant catchment area. 

We looked to inform you more about which areas of Hertfordshire have great schools by looking at data from Ofsted on the number of educational institutions with ‘outstanding’ OFSTED reports at the moment. This encompassed nurseries, primary and secondary schools, pupil referral units, and further education colleges.

Saint Albans and Watford both each have an impressive 15 educational institutions classified as ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED

OFSTED inspections in recent years have become increasingly rigorous and testing, and inspectors leave no stone unturned. Therefore, it is highly impressive if an educational institution manages to get the best possible report grading of ‘outstanding’. The data we collected unveiled that St Albans and Watford are home to an amazing 15 educational institutions that currently have ‘outstanding’ OFSTED reports.* This makes these two local areas even more attractive places for family tenants to live and settle down.  

Welwyn Hatfield and North Herts are home to 11 and 10 educational institutions currently rated as outstanding by OFSTED, and these are also impressive figures. 

Image of a school classroom.

Ranking Hertfordshire local authority areas Number of educational institutions currently rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted
1 St Albans 15
2 Watford 15
3 Welwyn Hatfield 11
4 North Herts 10
5 Dacorum 7
6 Stevenage 6
7 Three Rivers 6
8 Broxbourne 5
9 East Herts 4
10 Hertsmere 4

*Data on OFSTED reports correct as of 22 August 2023*


Ultimately, where exactly you choose to purchase a buy-to-let in Hertfordshire may be based on factors that the data we have collected hasn’t covered, such as proximity to your main home of residence. However, Hertfordshire is undoubtedly a county that offers renters a high quality of life which is hard to trump elsewhere in the UK, and you should bear this in mind when thinking about becoming a landlord in the county.

We hope through our findings and what we’ve uncovered that you will now have a clearer understanding of where’s the best place to own a buy-to-let in Hertfordshire. 


To initiate our assessment of where’s the best place to own a buy-to-let in Hertfordshire, we looked at local government data from each of the ten local authority districts that make up Hertfordshire relating to the average private sector monthly rent for one, two, three, and four or more bedroom properties. We then ranked each local authority area accordingly. 

We gathered data on how much builders charge per day in each area from a tradespeople’s website. We used this information to help us convey an idea of which areas in Hertfordshire are cheaper to hire professionals to carry out upgrades and major renovations for buy-to-lets. 

Finally, we drew on data around which schools and education centres had ‘outstanding’ OFSTED reports to demonstrate which areas of Hertfordshire have good local schools. We saw this information as important because this is something that could be useful for landlords looking to invest in the county who want to attract the family rental market. 

Full list of sources used 

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