The Cost of Being a Landlord 2023

We have conducted our annual ranking to reveal the true cost of being a landlord in 2023, as well as the most and least profitable locations to become a landlord this year. 

  • Only three cities are profitable for landlords in 2023 
  • None of the 33 London boroughs are profitable for landlords
  • Glasgow, Scotland revealed as the most profitable city to be a landlord

With a backdrop of higher mortgage costs, fluctuating interest rates and tax changes, it is an uncertain time for anyone wanting to purchase a property. Whilst the situation looks rocky in the short-term, it’s important to remember purchasing a property is a long-term investment. 

Looking into interest-only mortgages means landlords will have smaller outgoings, meaning they’ll be more able to turn a month on month profit.

CIA Landlords has put together an updated annual ranking for 2023 looking at every cost associated with being a landlord in the UK and where they lie. From licence fees to maintenance costs, the research gives an overview of the best and worst cities and places to become a landlord in 2023.

In these uncertain times it’s more important than ever to be aware of the costs associated with becoming a landlord, including maintenance fees and landlord insurance.

Glasgow revealed as the best city to be a landlord, for the first time

Mortgage and interest rate increases as well as higher expenditure have meant only three of the cities researched are profitable for landlords in 2023. This price takes into account the average monthly mortgage payment, interest rate and general expenditure a landlord has to pay when compared to the average rent price of properties in the city. 

Landlords in Glasgow can expect a monthly cashflow of nearly £80, with the average price to buy a property being just under £200,000 – the fifth cheapest of all the cities we looked at. 

All of the cities in the top ten are in the northern half of the United Kingdom, showing location can impact the profitability of a propery. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Liverpool sitting in second and third place, earning landlords nearly £50 and £6 respectively.

2022 and 2021 saw London and Brighton taking the top spot, both of which don’t feature in the top 10 this year. Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds are the only cities to remain in the top 10 year-on-year, previously sitting in 8th, 7th and 6th respectively.

Brighton, 2021’s best city, revealed as the worst city to be a landlord in 2023

The changing property market is especially highlighted by the fact that Brighton has been revealed as the worst city to become a landlord – despite it being the best just two years ago. Landlords here can expect to be making a loss of just over £450 a month based on average rent being £1,158. However, the city does have the second highest property purchase price, sitting just behind London, at nearly £500,500.

Landlords with property in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, can expect to make a loss of just over £410, and those in Bournemouth losing just under £370 a month. 

Last year saw London in the top spot with landlords making on average £3,996.76 a month, whereas now, the UK capital sits in sixth position for the worst cities to become a landlord, with landlords seeing monthly losses of around £215.

Barking and Dagenham returns to top position as the best London borough to be a landlord

There have been many conversations around a housing crash in the UK’s capital looking likely in 2023, but while mortgage and interest rates are still so high, it looks like for many, purchasing a property may still be difficult. 

This difficulty has therefore resulted in an increased demand for rental properties, and despite the higher prices tenants are prepared to pay to live in London, the monthly rental cost is still not covering the outgoings of the average landlord. 

Barking and Dagenham is the best London borough to become a landlord, taking back the top spot from Westminster which won in 2021. However, unlike previous years where landlords were able to turn a profit, landlords in Barking and Dagenham will still be making a monthly loss of just over £750.

The table below shows the best London boroughs to become a landlord in 2023:

Index London Borough Average Property Price Average Rent Monthly Mortgage Payment (over 25 years) Total Fees Total Monthly Cashflow – Interest Only Total Monthly Cashflow
1 Barking and Dagenham £368,496.00 £1,450.00 £1,919.90 £281.30 £1,168.70 -£751.20
2 Newham £447,054.00 £1,750.00 £2,329.19 £329.30 £1,420.70 -£908.49
3 Bexley £446,777.00 £1,450.00 £2,327.75 £281.30 £1,168.70 -£1,159.05
4 Tower Hamlets £557,768.00 £2,050.00 £2,906.02 £377.30 £1,672.70 -£1,233.32
5 Havering £457,369.00 £1,400.00 £2,382.93 £273.30 £1,126.70 -£1,256.23
6 Croydon £479,165.00 £1,500.00 £2,496.49 £289.30 £1,210.70 -£1,285.79
7 Sutton £500,115.00 £1,595.00 £2,605.64 £304.50 £1,290.50 -£1,315.14
8 Greenwich £522,132.00 £1,700.00 £2,720.35 £321.30 £1,378.70 -£1,341.65
9 Redbridge £530,973.00 £1,615.00 £2,766.42 £307.70 £1,307.30 -£1,459.12
10 Waltham Forest £559,370.00 £1,650.00 £2,914.37 £313.30 £1,336.70 -£1,577.67

Last year, only eight boroughs were profitable, including Newham and Barking and Dagenham – both of which remain in the top ten but have lost their profitability status.

Kensington and Chelsea is the least profitable London borough for landlords in 2023 for the third year in a row

The three most expensive London boroughs, in terms of average property price and rent, all sit in the top three positions as the worst London boroughs to become a landlord in 2023.

Landlords can expect to pay over £2,400,000 for a property in Kensington and Chelsea. With monthly rent being slightly over £4,000, landlords will lose just over £9,000 a month when paying off both mortgage and interest. 

Westminster and Camden sit in second and third place, with landlords losing nearly £5,100 and £4,200 a month respectively.

The table below shows the worst London boroughs to become a landlord in 2023:

Index London Borough Average Property Price Average Rent Monthly Mortgage Payment (over 25 years) Total Fees Total Monthly Cashflow – Interest Only Total Monthly Cashflow
1 Kensington and Chelsea £2,409,002.00 £4,008.00 £12,551.12 £690.58 £3,317.42 -£9,233.70
2 Westminster £1,549,012.00 £3,600.00 £8,070.49 £625.30 £2,974.70 -£5,095.79
3 Camden £1,211,798.00 £2,600.00 £6,313.57 £465.30 £2,134.70 -£4,178.87
4 Hammersmith and Fulham £1,057,351.00 £2,492.00 £5,508.89 £448.02 £2,043.98 -£3,464.91
5 Richmond £984,892.00 £2,200.00 £5,131.37 £401.30 £1,798.70 -£3,332.67
6 Islington £906,856.00 £2,383.00 £4,724.80 £430.58 £1,952.42 -£2,772.38
7 Barnet £769,465.00 £1,800.00 £4,008.98 £337.30 £1,462.70 -£2,546.28
8 Merton £793,274.00 £1,962.00 £4,133.03 £363.22 £1,598.78 -£2,534.25
9 Wandsworth £861,577.00 £2,400.00 £4,488.89 £433.30 £1,966.70 -£2,522.19
10 Haringey £763,718.00 £1,850.00 £3,979.04 £345.30 £1,504.70 -£2,474.34

Interestingly, Westminster was one of the best Boroughs to be a landlord last year, showing how rocky the market currently is.

The annual required fees to become a landlord in 2023

Aside from mortgage repayments and letting agent fees, landlords also have other fixed fees they must be aware of when taking on a new property, or wanting to purchase a buy-to-let. 

Most of these fees are the same regardless of location, other than a landlord license fee – which needs updating every three years – that is dependent on which part of the UK you live in.

Required Fees Frequency Annual Cost Monthly Cost 
Tenancy Deposit Registration Every new tenant £40 £3.33
Landlord Insurance Yearly £170 £14.17
Energy Performance Certificate Every 10 years £7.75 £0.65
Gas Safety Certificate Yearly £80.00 £6.67
National Insurance:
Class 2 – profits are above £6,515 per year
per week £163.80 £13.65
Landlord License Fee – England Every 5 years £130.00 £10.83
Landlord License Fee – Wales Every 5 years £28.80 £2.40
Landlord License Fee – Scotland Every 3 years  £22.00 £1.83
Landlord License Fee – Northern Ireland Every 3 years £23.33 £1.94

The majority of landlords ensure white goods are fitted for the property, and may occasionally need to buy new appliances to replace broken ones, these costs are listed below:

Fully furnishing a property costs just over £13.50 per month

Depending on how you decide to let your property, whether it be fully-furnished, partly-furnished or un-furnished, you may also need to consider how much it will cost to buy furniture items. 

It can cost nearly £2,000 to fully furnish a property, however when you spread these costs monthly, this accounts for only £13.63, so it may be worthwhile considering this option as you can then rent your property for a higher price. A sofa is the most expensive piece of furniture to buy, at just over £700, but this investment should last around 11 years.

As the property market is so uncertain at the moment, it can be more important than ever to ensure you’re fully aware of the costs of becoming a landlord or taking on another property. It’s more important than ever to invest in good quality landlord insurance which can help cover issues such as a loss of rent and the contents you put into the property.


In order to calculate the best city to become a landlord, we analysed every cost from maintenance and furnishing to letting agent fees, safety certificates, national insurance, licencing fees, tenancy deposit registration, and landlord insurance costs. This was combined with the average mortgage amount, rental rates, and property prices across 69 UK cities and 33 London boroughs to determine what were the best areas to become a landlord in 2023.

The monthly cashflow total has been calculated by taking the sum of the average rent, minus the monthly mortgage, interest and monthly fees. 

The monthly cashflow – interest only, has been calculated by taking the sum of the average rent, minus only the interest of a monthly mortgage, and monthly fees.

The total fees for landlords include arrangement, letting agent and monthly additional fees.

Annual landlord licence fee cost is taken from an average of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.


For a full list of sources please contact

The Best Cities in Europe for Expats

Looking for a change of scenery? Whether you’re chasing fresh job prospects, a better quality of life, or just craving a new adventure, relocating to a new country is the ultimate way to shake things up. 

But with so many promising destinations to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? And most importantly, which are safe enough for you to feel comfortable and secure in your new surroundings? 

To help you decide, we’ve ranked the best and safest cities for expats in Europe according to a range of factors, including number of job vacancies, property and transport costs, and crime rates. 

Bucharest is the best city in Europe for expats

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, ranks as the number one city for expats in Europe. This charming city offers one of the lowest costs of living; expats can rent a 1-bed flat for just £398.66 per month, or buy one for as little as £2,107.76 per square metre. Public transport is also very affordable at just £14.41 per month, which is the second cheapest in Europe after Luxembourg, where public transport is free. 

Bucharest also boasts a low crime index score of 28.07, making it a safe and secure place to live. The only catch is that it has one of the lowest job vacancies at 9.09 per 1,000 people, and an average salary of only £819.28 per month. Even so, this dynamic city is still a very attractive option for expats seeking a budget-friendly European experience.

Valletta, Malta comes in second after Bucharest. This island city is great for job prospects, offering expats the most job vacancies per 1,000 people at 688.9. Unfortunately, the average monthly salary is fairly low at £911.91, and the city’s crime index of 37.79 is higher than in Bucharest. 

Valletta is followed by Nicosia in Cyprus, which offers the cheapest cost per square metre to buy a flat (£1,848.97). Nicosia is also very safe with a low crime index score of 30.12, and a better average monthly salary than both Valletta and Bucharest at £1,207.98.

Bern, in sixth place, actually offers the highest average salary of all cities at £5,021.12 per month – so if you’re chasing a better paycheck, the Swiss capital may be the best place for you.

*The table below reveals the top 10 best cities for expats in Europe

Rank City Job vacancies per 1,000 people Average price for 1-bed flat (per month – £) Average price to buy flat (per square metre – £) Average price of public transport per month (£) Average salary per month (£) Crime index
1 Bucharest, Romania 9.09 £398.66 £2,107.76 £14.41 £819.28 28.07
2 Valletta, Malta 688.90 £822.48 £7,337.20 £22.96 £911.91 37.79
3 Nicosia, Cyprus 22.00 £534.34 £1,848.97 £35.33 £1,207.98 30.12
4 Tallinn, Estonia 7.93 £581.04 £3,443.93 £26.50 £1,200.61 24.42
5 Ljubljana, Slovenia 9.82 £599.00 £3,827.83 £32.68 £1,160.71 21.69
6 Bern, Switzerland 76.93 £1,086.44 £9,671.11 £69.59 £5,021.12 18.10
7 Zagreb, Croatia 4.46 £492.70 £3,271.25 £42.23 £956.31 22.37
8 Warsaw, Poland 16.82 £670.36 £3,723.44 £20.61 £1,054.57 25.93
9 Vilnius, Lithuania 9.19 £636.64 £3,558.16 £25.61 £1,076.56 27.79
10 Budapest, Hungary 6.70 £448.26 £3,075.37 £21.56 £854.54 34.68

London ranks as the worst city in Europe for expats 

London, the bustling capital of the UK, is unfortunately the worst place in Europe for expats. The cost of living in London is extremely high, costing on average £2,002.11 per month to rent a 1-bed, and £12,025.21 per m2 to buy your own flat.

Public transport costs here are also the highest in Europe at £154.50 per month on average, making it even more of a challenge to make ends meet. And with only 20.18 job vacancies per 1,000 people, it’s tough to find stable employment to support the high cost of living. 

To top it off, London also has one of the highest crime rates at 53.74, which is a serious concern for those considering relocation.

Paris ranks as the second worst city after London, offering slightly more job vacancies (27.18 per 1,000 people), but a lower average salary of £2,304.89 per month. The cost to buy a flat is also very high here (£11,007.45 per m2), but renting is slightly cheaper at £1,136.83 per month.

Dublin, Ireland comes in third, with a slightly more affordable cost to purchase property than Paris (£6,493.71 per m2), but a higher average rental price of £1,696.43 per month.

Meanwhile, Rome in fifth place offers the fewest job vacancies (4.77 per 1,000 people), and Athens in tenth offers the lowest average salary (£810.41 per month).

*The table below reveals the 10 worst cities for expats in Europe

Rank City Job vacancies per 1,000 people Average price for 1-bed flat (£) Average price to buy flat (per square metre – £) Average price of public transport per month (£) Average salary per month (£) Crime index
1 London, UK 20.18 £2,002.11 £12,025.21 £154.50 £3,043.20 53.74
2 Paris, France 27.18 £1,136.83 £11,007.45 £70.44 £2,304.89 56.87
3 Dublin, Ireland 44.63 £1,696.43 £6,493.71 £105.98 £2,639.14 52.26
4 Stockholm, Sweden 24.31 £1,162.26 £8,910.77 £76.96 £2,571.68 46.25
5 Rome, Italy 4.77 £886.05 £5,903.11 £30.91 £1,387.77 53.09
6 Berlin, Germany 21.07 £1,147.98 £7,150.06 £74.84 £2,708.31 43.39
7 Amsterdam, Netherlands 42.03 £1,435.15 £7,369.13 £78.61 £3,016.51 31.72
8 Oslo, Norway 6.97 £1,147.07 £7,783.09 £66.85 £3,087.24 33.99
9 Brussels, Belgium 34.11 £835.52 £3,418.62 £44.16 £2,400.87 54.59
10 Athens, Greece 13.09 £438.32 £2,230.27 £26.50 £810.41 55.84

Swiss capital Bern is the safest city in Europe

To reveal the safest European destinations, we ranked cities according to their crime index score. This is an estimation of the overall crime level in each city, with lower scores signalling a much safer environment. 

Our ranking revealed Bern, Switzerland’s charming capital, as the safest spot for expats and tourists alike. This city is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, offering mediaeval architecture and cobbled streets right at the foot of the Swiss Alps. But what really sets it apart is its safety score; it received the lowest crime index score of all cities (18.10), making it a secure and peaceful place to call home.

Ljubljana in Slovenia scored second place for safety, with a slightly higher – but still very low – crime index of 21.69. This was followed by Zagreb with a crime index of 22.37, Reykjavik with 23.91, and Tallinn with 24.42.

*The table below reveals the top 10 safest cities in Europe

Rank City Crime index 
1 Bern, Switzerland 18.10
2 Ljubljana, Slovenia 21.69
3 Zagreb, Croatia 22.37
4 Reykjavik, Iceland 23.91
5 Tallinn, Estonia 24.42
6 Prague, Czech Republic 24.66
7 Helsinki, Finland 24.80
8 Warsaw, Poland 25.93
9 Vienna, Austria  26.77
10 Luxembourg, Luxembourg 27.69

Paris is the least safe city for expats, with the highest crime rate in Europe

The capital of France is a popular destination for anyone seeking romance. Unfortunately, taking a romantic stroll along the iconic Seine river might require some extra safety precautions, as Paris received the highest crime index score of all cities analysed at 56.87. Crime levels between 40 and 60 are classed as moderate – so while Paris’ score isn’t sky-high, it’s definitely high enough to raise concerns.

Athens ranked second for safety after Paris, with a similarly high crime index of 55.84. Brussels came third with a score of 54.59 followed by London (53.74), Rome (53.09) and Dublin (52.26).

*The table below reveals the 10 least safe cities in Europe

Rank City Crime index 
1 Paris, France 56.87
2 Athens, Greece 55.84
3 Brussels, Belgium 54.59
4 London, UK 53.74
5 Rome, Italy 53.09
6 Dublin, Ireland 52.26
7 Stockholm, Sweden 46.25
8 Berlin, Germany 43.39
9 Sofia, Bulgaria 41.84
10 Riga, Latvia 38.46

Methodology and sources

We created an index to determine the best cities within the European Union and the UK for expats, comparing city’s crime rates to reveal which city is the safest for expats alongside lifestyle metrics such as the average salary, cost of living and available jobs.

Energy upgrade: The most effective energy-saving purchases for your property

Homes in the UK are some of the worst insulated in Europe, according to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data. As energy prices and the cost of living continue to rise, now is a great time to consider making your property more energy efficient. 

Although upfront costs may seem high, energy-proofing can save homeowners and landlords money in the long run by reducing energy bills and preventing damage from things such as dampness and mould.

To help property owners keep their bills to a minimum, we’ve researched the cost to energy-proof your property and how much energy (kWh) this could save you per month. 

Ground source pumps revealed as the best energy proofing method for your property

Ground source pumps rank as the best energy-proofing method, saving owners the highest amount of energy. A ground source pump pulls heat from the ground to heat your radiators and water cylinders, saving a predicted 257.5 kWh each month in energy, as well as £1,107.50 per year in bills. 

Unfortunately, although ground source pumps offer great energy-saving benefits, their high upfront cost of £20,000 means it will take 18 years to break even on your investment through savings on energy bills.

Property owners can save another 251.2 kWh per month and £1,080.54 per year by installing a grey water recovery system. These systems recycle water used for washing throughout the house, treat it, and then pump it back to be used in your toilet or washing machine.

Loft insulation is the third best energy-proofing method, saving detached properties £590 a year and 137.2 kWh per month in energy. As a quarter of heat is lost through the roof, making sure it’s properly insulated will help trap the heat inside the house.

Installing wind turbines and solar panels can also cut costs in the long run, saving a yearly average of £537.60 and £522 respectively. These additions can also help properties become more energy self-sufficient, as they use the sun and wind to generate energy for your property.

The below table shows the ten best energy proofing methods for your property:

Rank Energy-proofing item Cost of installation Energy saved per month (kWh) Money saved per year (£) Break even time (years)
1 Ground Source Pumps £20,000.00 257.5 £1,107.50 18.06
2 Grey Water Recovery £6,500.00 251.2 £1,080.54 6.02
3 Loft insulation (Detached house) £890.00 137.2 £590.00 1.51
4 Loft insulation (Detached bungalow) £890.00 137.2 £590.00 1.512
5 Wind Turbines (to Zero Emission: 2.5 kW System) £12,500.00 125.0 £537.60 23.25
6 Solar Panels (6) £3,252.00 121.4 £522.00 6.23
7 Heat Recovery Ventilators £4,500.00 90.6 £389.58 11.55
8 Loft insulation (Semi-detached house) £640.00 82.5 £355.00 1.80
9 Loft insulation (Mid-terrace house) £590.00 76.7 £330.00 1.79
10 Tank Jacket £16.00 72.3 £311.00 0.05

Energy-proofing on a budget: The most cost-effective methods 

To determine the most cost-effective methods with the greatest long-term impact, we calculated the time required for each method to break even on its upfront purchase cost.

Top 10 energy-proofing methods with the shortest break even time:

Rank Energy-proofing item Cost of installation Energy saved per month (kWh) Money saved per year (£) Break even time (months)
1 Tank Jacket £16.00 72.3 £311.00 0.62
2 Smart Thermostat £199.99 53.2 £228.65 10.50
3 Loft insulation (Detached house) £890.00 137.2 £590.00 18.10
4 Loft insulation (Detached bungalow) £890.00 137.2 £590.00 18.10
5 LED Light Bulb (Non-Smart) £4.39 0.6 £2.50 21.07
6 Loft insulation (Mid-terrace house) £590.00 76.7 £330.00 21.45
7 Loft insulation (Semi-detached house) £640.00 82.5 £355.00 21.63
8 Gray Water Recovery £6,500.00 251.2 £1,080.54 72.19
9 Solar Panels (6) £3,252.00 121.4 £522.00 74.76

A tank jacket, which insulates your hot water tank to reduce the amount of heat lost, takes the top spot as the most cost-effective method to improve energy efficiency. This energy-saving item costs just £16 to install, but reduces bills by as much as £311 a year – meaning it would only take 0.6 months (2.5 weeks) for the investment to break even.

Technology can be another great way to boost energy efficiency, and installing a smart thermostat is the most cost-effective tech appliance to invest in. These thermostats allow you to control your heating from your phone and program a smart schedule to heat your property in an energy-efficient way. They cost £199.99 upfront on average, but could save you £228.65 in bills in the first year alone – meaning break even time is just 10.5 months. 

Insulating your loft is the third best thing you can do to energy-proof your property for less. Depending on whether your property is detached, semi-detached or a mid-terrace, this will cost you between £590-£890 to have installed, and save you between £330-£590 per year – with an average break even time of 18-21 months.

The least cost-effective ways to energy-proof your property

Double-glazing windows may be a popular solution for fixing draughty windows, but the high cost of installation (£12,000) means this isn’t a quick fix. The monthly energy savings of 30.2 kWh result in a modest £130 reduction in your energy bills, meaning this method isn’t the most cost-effective solution. 

Air source pumps, while they do offer energy savings, are also not the most cost-effective method. Installation costs are £13,500 and will save you just £180.20 per year on your energy bills, so you may want to consider alternative methods if you’re looking to keep costs to a minimum.

Finally, while draught-proofing is one of the simplest ways to improve your property’s energy efficiency, it’s also not the most cost-efficient option. With an installation cost of £225 and yearly savings of only £25, it’s important to weigh the benefits before making a decision. However, if more complex energy-proofing measures aren’t feasible, draught-proofing may still be worth considering as a simple step towards a more energy-efficient home.

The benefits of energy-proofing your property

  • Saves money. Having an energy-efficient property won’t just save you money on bills; it also increases the value of your property, and decreases the cost of home or landlord insurance.
  • Protects the environment. Cutting down on energy use and shifting to renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels is a double victory, benefiting both your wallet and the environment.
  • Conserves heat in cold weather.  Methods such as installing loft insulation, identifying and stopping any draughts, opening curtains wide when it’s sunny, and rearranging your furniture can all help to conserve heat. This is particularly helpful in winter, when low temperatures often lead to a rise in energy bill costs.

Methodology and sources

All energy savings are calculated by using the GB regional energy rate alongside a formula. This formula takes the money saved per month (£) and converts it into (p) by multiplying the money saved per month by 100. Knowing that 35.84p is equal to 1kWh of energy, this was then converted into pence to give the kWh saved.