Landlords in England are witnessing a booming rental market, with earnings from rental payments in excess of £32 billion per year, or almost £2.7 billion per month, according to analysis conducted by Direct Line for Business.Landlords in London collect the largest proportion of private rental income in England at £14 billion per year, more than the North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia combined. In total, 44% of the entire country’s rent is paid in London. Outside the capital, Leeds pays the greatest amount of any city, with annual private rent totalling £565 million, followed by Birmingham (£521 million) and Manchester (£401 million).

The research reveals that London and the Home Counties dominate rental incomes, with the highest average rents sitting in Inner London (£19,596 per year or £1,633 per month). Elmbridge, Surrey, has the highest rents outside London, worth (£18,948 per year or £1,579 per month), followed by South Bucks, where monthly rental costs are £1,530 in the private sector.

Meanwhile, landlords outside of these regions can also make a healthy rental income. Many areas outside the London commuter belt can command high rental costs, for example Bath and North Somerset, and the Cotswolds both command annual rental incomes of more than £11,000 per year.

Outside of the capital, Bournemouth leads in terms of private rentals with 30% of households there privately rented. The isles of Scilly (29.7%) and Brighton and Hove (29.6%) follow in second and third place respectively. Across the country, Inner London has the highest proportion of private renters, at 30.7%.

Jazz Gakhal, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “Buy-to-let is becoming an increasingly attractive option for people as property prices continue to soar.

“Landlords and potential landlords looking to take advantage of this should also appreciate the risks involved. Bad payers and potential damage to property are but just a few of the costs that can lead to landlords paying out 25% of the revenues they receive in rental payments annually.

“Taking the necessary precautions such as letting through an agency and taking out landlord insurance can help to alleviate concerns and ease the rental process.”

To help landlords keep track of charges paid, ongoing expenses and to assist in calculating the yield on their portfolio, Direct Line for Business has launched a new landlord app, Mobile Landlord. This app enables landlords to manage up to five properties on the go through a single online, mobile portal.

Mobile Landlord is free to download and available immediately on both iOS and Android platforms.