New figures assembled by the Nationwide reveal precisely how much, on average, it costs to operate a privately rented property.
The numbers are likely to provoke debate - partly because fees vary significantly, even if a landlord uses an agent - and partly because of regional variations .
But this is what Nationwide says:
Finding new tenants includes advertising property, arranging viewings, running financial background or immigration status checks, paying fees to letting agents to find new tenants, preparing an inventory, pre or post rental cleaning - £552 (although 18 per cent spend more than £1,000 and 18 per cent spend nothing);
Annual costs include annual gas safety inspection, electrical safety check if applicable, tenancy renewal, management including rent collection, completing related tax returns, insurance for buildings, paying ground rent if applicable, maintenance charges - £879 (although 30 per cent spend more than £1,000);
Annual maintenance costs include wear and tear repairs, redecoration, replacing items - £601 (though 16 per cent spend more than £1,000).
So in total, Nationwide reckons landlords pay £1,500 a year to rent out a property, rising to over £2,000 if new tenant is needed.
While the mean monthly profit from renting out property, after taking away typical costs, is £610, almost three in five landlords make £500 or less a month, a third earn less than £300 and 22 per cent less than £200.
One in seven say they make £100 or less monthly profit from renting out their property - less than £1,200 per year. One in 20 landlords don’t know how much, or even if, they make a profit.