Here are some tips to help you into the “buy to let” fraternity and ensure the letting process is as smooth as it can be.
1. Get the right mortgage
Mortgage rates remain low, providing an attractive investment opportunity, with yields higher but you must be confident that you will be able to make the mortgage payments if rates rise. Mortgage relief for landlords is gradually reducing and, remember, that second property owners must pay higher stamp duty. Shop around for mortgage deals and take advice from a reputable mortgage broker. If you are relying on an existing mortgage, make sure you inform your mortgage provider.
2. Do your research on areas with high yields
There can be significant yield differences between localities, even from street to street or village to village. We can advise you on good areas in which to invest.
3. Ensure the property is well presented
Letting the property in a good condition will help save bills on repairs, allow you to charge a higher rent and prevent disputes with tenants. Small changes can make a large difference.
4. Think about furnishings
If you are letting your property furnished then carefully consider how to present it. Aim to make the property feel like a home but be careful not to overdo it so that it is less attractive to those who do not share your tastes.
5. Take out landlord insurance
Landlords are required to take out specific insurance. This should not only cover the property against accidental damage but also against vandalism and loss of rental income.
6. Make sure you install the necessary safety equipment
Landlords are required to have all gas appliances, including the boiler, cooker and heating system, inspected every year. The inspection must be carried out by a registered engineer. It is recommended that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be installed and CO alarms must be fitted in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.
7. Check whether you’ll need a licence to operate
If you are letting a property with multiple occupancy then you may need to be licenced.
8. Put the right tenancy in place
The drafting of a sound tenancy agreement is key in protecting your position and enforcing the tenant’s covenants. Consideration should also be given to putting a detailed record of condition/inventory, agreed by the tenant, in place at the commencement of the tenancy. Any deposit collected also needs to be lodged with a Government approved scheme.
9. Consider using an agent to manage your property
Managing a property can be both time-consuming and stressful. If you prefer a ‘hands off’ approach then using an agent may be the best way of proceeding.
If you are looking to buy or let a property, we are able to advise you. Contact us for a free appraisal of your property.
In letting a property, we offer a bespoke service to assist you ranging from simply listing a house to a fully managed service. Find out more here.
More information for landlords here