If you have made the decision that property is something you want to invest in as a buy-to-let Landlord there are a few important things you need to know before taking the plunge!
1. Know your market. Before you invest in a property, decide who you want to rent to. Are you happy to rent to sharers? Do you only want to rent to families? If you are happy to rent to sharers then bedroom size is key. Two sharers will want two double rooms whereas a family will take a house with two double rooms and one single but make the decision before you buy.
2. Invest in kitchens and bathrooms. These two rooms tend to be very important for tenants. If these rooms are a little tired look at re-tiling, putting in new worktops and changing cupboard doors if the units are sound. Always make sure there is some sort of shower in the bathroom. If either of these rooms need gutting and totally refitting don’t spend a fortune on it. Don’t forget this is a business, not your home!
3. Keep colours neutral. You can’t go wrong with good old magnolia. That way it is easier to freshen up the property between lets.
4. Specialist Landlord insurance. You must take out specific Landlord insurance. This is different from your normal buildings insurance in that it will also give you an element of liability insurance which hopefully you will never need! Also, consider rent guarantee insurance, especially if you have a mortgage on the property.
5. Use the services of a good agent! Again, make a decision early on about whether or not you are happy to manage the property yourself or just want a tenant finding. Whichever it is its always wise to use an agent as they will be able to reference any potential tenants very thoroughly. These days this is even more important with the Right to Rent act bought in by Government last year.
6. Do your sums! If you are looking at buying a flat, don’t forget to factor in the cost of management fees as this obviously will impact your return. Also, take into account the cost of renewing the lease if it is getting short.
7. Do your research. If you are buying in an area you don’t know too well, find an agent you can trust to give you correct information about good and bad areas of the town you are looking at, not just good news about the area they are trying to sell you a property in!
If you want any impartial advice on a possible buy to let investment, pop into our Bridge Street offices and we will have a chat.