Top Tips for Buy-to-Let Investment
Buy-to-let property is still a popular long term investment. Property can often appear simpler to understand than stocks and shares. We share our top tips to help you on your way to your first buy-to-let property.
Research the market
If you are new to buy-to-let, what do you know about the market? Do you know the risks, as well as the benefits? Ensuring you are familiar with the pitfalls as well as the benefits is essential.
Choose a location
Choosing a property for buy-to-let is all about the location. Tenants, unlike buyers can move out at a months’ notice and will not hang around for a property that does not service their needs. Depending on your target market you will need to consider the proximity to local schools, transport links, night life and so on.
Choose a promising area
Promising does not mean most expensive or cheapest. Promising means a place where people would like to live and this can be for a variety of reasons. Check the letting potential with an independent, lettings specialist i.e. not a letting agency that is part of an estate agency (can have conflicting agendas).
Target your tenant
Remember you are not the tenant and instead of imagining whether you would like to live in your investment property put yourself in their shoes.
It is also possible to take out an insurance policy against your tenant failing to pay the rent, usually known as rent guarantee insurance
Carefully reference check your tenants. All of our tenants are comprehensively checked.
Buy properties that are easy to rent all year round.
Ensure your property is well presented. A small cost to freshen up the decorating can make the property much more appealing and quicker to rent.
Make sure you take out specialist lettings insurance which covers you for building, contents, malicious tenant damage, rent and legal expenses (including repossessions expenses) and arrears. Belvoir can recommend specialist bespoke Landlord Insurance.
Haggle over price
If you are not reliant on selling a property to buy another, then you are not part of a chain and represent less of a risk of a sale falling through. This can be a sizeable asset when negotiating a discount, especially in a tough market such as the one we have now.
Find a licensed letting agent
Only use letting agents that are members of the National Letting Approved Scheme (Safeagent) and The Property Ombudsman. Our landlord ‘client accounts’ are independently audited annually to ensure your money is safe.
Secure the Deposit
Ensure the tenants deposit is protected. All private landlords and letting agents taking deposits for assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales are required to safeguard them. Belvoir Wirral would of course take care of this for you.
Invest in an Inventory
Ensure your inventory is comprehensive. This is a step often skipped by landlords’ and tenants’, when it really shouldn’t be. A properly prepared inventory can prevent a lot of disputes between tenants and landlords and is therefore extremely important.
Take specialist property financial and tax advice
We can provide you contact details with a Wealth Management consultant to help you minimise your tax bill.
Consider how hands-on you want to be
Buying a property is only the first step. You will need to find a tenant, deal with enquiries and collect payment. It is possible to do this yourself but if you’ve a full time job you may prefer to hand the property management to an agent. For a percentage fee Belvoir will find tenants, deal with problems and will have relationships with plumbers, electricians etc. should repairs be required. We will also take care of referencing, contracts, deposits, inventory’s, checking tenants in, inspections of the property, legal notices and checking out at the end of the tenancy.
At Belvoir Wirral we can offer our expert independent advice on buy-to-let. Remember we are the Letting Specialist, we are not Estate Agents.
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