Despite all the negative press property is still a good investment and is likely to give you a better return than your hard earned cash just sitting in the bank. 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!
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. Don’t be put off by sharers. People make the mistake of thinking one will end up wanting to leave but, believe me, this happens with couples just as much! Many people share these days as it’s a cheaper alternative to having a one bed property on their own and, in our experience, they tend to stay a while.
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. Consider shower boards instead of tiles. It’s quicker to install and you have less grout issues later. 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. A good agent will also keep you up to date with changes in legislation.
6. Freshen up between lets. Always consider a bit of redecoration in between lets. This will encourage tenants to keep it nice. It’s better to redecorate a couple of rooms each time than doing the whole property in one hit, thereby spreading the expenditure.
7. Employ a good accountant. A good accountant will be able to give you the best tax advice on your investment and stop you falling foul of the rules!
Now sit back and watch your investment grow!
For further advice, give us a call or drop in to our offices.