Top 10 Tips for Landlords

  1. Hold on one second, before we get to scrolling through Rightmove – set your BUDGET. Research Buy-To-Let mortgages and make sure you can afford it. Take into account fluctuations in interest rates and possible void periods, as well as other outgoings such as ground rent and service charge (leasehold properties) when you are doing the calculations.
  2. Treat your buy-to-let as a business. You might work full time and this might be an investment for the future but spend some time working out how much you want to achieve back each year and what is important to you. Consider other factors beyond initial return such as capital growth. Think about what you are ultimately trying to achieve.
  3. Speak to the lettings agents about yield. This is a key factor in the geographical area that you choose.Take their advice about the type of property that would be best for your circumstances. Flat or house. City or county.
  4. It may seem obvious but do not buy your investment with your heart. You are not choosing the house of your dreams , you are choosing a buy-to-let investment. So think: age of property, area, school catchment, future maintenance.
  5. Make sure whichever property you choose it is in good working order and that you are allowed to sub let it. You do not want to bag yourself a ‘bargain’ to find there are costly bills to pay to bring it up to standard or that there are covenants restricting what you can do with the property.
  6. Check the EPC rating. It is illegal in the UK to let a property with an EPC rating of F or below.
  7. The legal bit – there are over 400 pieces of legislation to comply with to become a landlord. Make sure you have done your research before putting in that offer!
  8. Landlord insurance – an absolutely essential expenditure. Do your research for the most comprehensive cover you can afford to include buildings, rent and legal bills.
  9. Make sure you have a tenancy agreement. It ensures that both parties are clear about what they are signing up for and will protect you if something goes wrong. Deposit registration, electric and gas (where applicable) safety certificates are mandatory.
  10. Paper, paper everywhere! Don’t forget that as a new landlord you will need to complete a tax return and that requires you to keep receipts and to have access to records of income and expenditure.


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