Property news roundup: More than half of landlords live within 10 miles of their rental property

Plus, the importance of rural broadband, new QR codes and Britain's worst kitchen

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The Independent Online

Around 56 per cent of buy-to-let landlords and property investors live within 10 miles of their rental properties, according to Countrywide Residential Lettings.

In the North East and North West live the figure is even higher, with two thirds of landlords living inside the 10 mile zone. The number of landlords living within 25 miles of their properties is highest in the North East at 83 per cent, followed by the North West (81 per cent), East Midlands (71 per cent) and London (60 per cent).

London has the largest proportion of landlords living more than 100 miles away, with more than 1 in 5 landlords doing so, nearly twice the UK average.

The report also shows that only six per cent of landlords own more than one rental property and that the average monthly rent in the UK in February was £861, up just over three per cent compared to the same time last year.

Over the last 12 months, rents have risen fastest in Scotland (up 9.6 per cent), followed by Central London (8.5 per cent). The biggest decrease was in the West Midlands, down by 6.2 per cent.

Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director at Countrywide said: "Location is key to buy-to-let investment and landlords tend to purchase in areas they are knowledgeable of in terms of property prices, monthly rents and the local amenities that attract tenants to an area.  Given 94 per cent of UK landlords own a single rental property, many choose to take a hands on approach in regards to management, so favour being closer to their rental accommodation. 

Broadband the biggest issue for rural homeowners

Better broadband connection is the most important issue that the government needs to tackle to make the countryside a better place to live, says a new report.

More than 70 per cent of those who took Knight Frank’s survey said it was the top priority, while half said that poor broadband was either affecting the profitability of their business or quality of life now. Only 11 per cent said it was not an issue for them.

Who has the worst kitchen In Britain? is running a competition to find Britain's Worst Kitchen with a £3,000 culinary facelift as the prize. Click here for details of how to enter.

QR codes on energy bills

QR codes are to be added on energy bills to help customers get an instant cross-market comparison. Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson for, said: "We welcome any steps to simplify energy bills and encourage people to compare energy tariffs. However, care needs to be taken not to introduce unnecessary complexity to the energy shopping process, which could have the potential to make people less likely to shop around regularly. It’s important that all bills, tariffs and communications from energy suppliers are made easier to understand so that every consumer, not just the tech-savvy, can benefit."