If you are considering making an investment in the Buy to Let property market then this article maybe of use and interest to you.
There are many so called ‘experts’ in the market place offering buy to let advice with many offering introductions to below market deals. Some claim you can become debt free, or they will make you into a millionaire and help you create a multiple property portfolio using other peoples money or assets. One thing they all have in common is they will charge a fee and brain wash you with hype and hysteria. Remember nothing or little in life is free and usually when it is as easy as these “experts” claim there is a major risk. Not long ago many of these “investment experts” were telling us how wonderful the sell and rent back deals were – now outlawed by the FSA.
The real “experts” in the lettings industry are the letting agents. Find a mature letting agency in your local area and you will most probably get all the advice you are looking for without facing a charge for it. The advice you will get from a letting agent that has no involvement with income from selling properties will be unbiased. Compare this to advice given to you by an investment club that will charge around 4% of the sale value as a fee for saving you money!
Select a letting agency that has strong established connections with the Housing Standards/Environmental Health departments in the local council. This will demonstrate the professionalism of the agency and will assist in the management of issues that may arise.
Once you’ve found and selected a letting agency ask to speak to a director or principle. Make clear you are looking for someone to help you understand the local market and help you know what is in most demand now plus how that demand may change in the future. Selecting the right letting agency is critical to making your investment work and helping protect your assets during the numerous tenancies and the potential risks they each of them have.
There are no mandatory regulations for control of letting agencies. There are a number of mandatory requirements agencies have to fulfill but none relates to how they manage your money.
Using an ARLA Licensed letting agent will protect you (Association of Residential Lettings Agents). It is a requirement for an ARLA Licensed agent to be a member of the Property Ombudsman.ARLA is the only membership body that requires a comprehensive audit of its members accounts and financial procedures. If you are considering using an agent that isn’t ARLA Licensed think would you buy a holiday from a travel agent who is not a member of ABTA or IATA?
The moral is don’t rush into any offers that sound to good to be true. If some is planning to charge you for finding or buying a buy to let property walk away. Only use an ARLA Licensed agent. Select an agent who you feel will be your partner protecting and managing your assets and avoid making your assets into a liability.
This article was prepared and written by the owner of Belvoir Lettings Agency Cambridge and Peterborough. Terry offers free advice and free property visits to all investors who are considering buying.
For more information please contact Terry by phone or email.