The 5 main types of Chinese landlord in the UK

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Chinese demand for buy-to-let properties has been increasing for the last couple of years. 

“Many real-estate agents and property experts in east Asia believe a new wave of investment is just getting under way”.

While interest in London’s property market has declined recently, other UK cities have seen large increases in numbers of Chinese landlords. These Chinese landlord communities can be split into five groups.

1. The Chinese Overseas Landlord

A large number of Chinese landlords own and let property in the UK but live abroad. Property ownership is attractive to investors but the motivations of these landlords for buying and letting UK property varies.  Some do it for investment and prestige while others do it for emigration or education. These non-resident landlords face extra challenges when letting their property. Living abroad makes it harder for them to keep on top of what is happening their tenants, and language barriers make communication difficult. Regulations on tax for those living outside the UK are also complicated.

2. The young professional

These young people working in the UK have well-paid jobs and so extra income to invest in property. Buying back home in China is too expensive for many landlords, making property in the UK a more affordable option.

3. The academic and PhD student

A small group similar to the Chinese young professionals, these landlords are graduates who are still involved in the UK University system. They usually enter the UK property market to make income to help fund their studies.

4. The Chinese property investor

These landlords are Chinese investors living within the UK. They’ve typically successfully applied for an Investor Visa by making investments of £2,000,000 or more in the UK. Although they can’t invest in property investment, management or development companies, these landlords can own large numbers of properties in the UK. Looking to make large profits, they may be restricted by their lack of knowledge of the UK letting process and the regulations they must follow.

5. The Takeaway owner

This last landlord group is one of the largest Chinese communities in the UK rental market. They own one or more Chinese Takeaway restaurants, and buy properties with their profits to make a steady income. This isn’t on a large scale, and these landlords don’t own many properties. These landlords face the challenge of maximising rental profits while minimising the time they spend carrying out landlord duties.


To solve the unique sets of problems these different landlords face, it’s likely landlords will look to appoint lettings agents. Rentalist is the only online property agent designed specifically for Chinese landlord communities in the UK. This means it is equipped to help solve these problems. Companies like Rentalist allow landlords to manage their properties, communicate well with tenants, break-down language barriers, and navigate the rules of UK property letting.

Read more here on how to identify the best letting agent for you.

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