| Jennifer Tozer

10 Tips for Buy-to-Let Success

Buying a property and letting it out can be very rewarding. Not only do you receive a rental income, but the property itself should also increase in value over time.

The property you are renting out is an investment, but you must make sure that it is looked after and well maintained.

Of course, you may also be busy with a job and family, and while buying to let is a business, it may not always be the first priority in your life.

That’s why we have put together our 10 Tips for Buy-to-Let Success guide. These tips are based on our many years of experience of helping landlords run successful businesses.

If you would like help and advice on the rental market in Torbay , email us at neil@ridgewater.co.uk or call 01803 525100.

1. Choose Your property Wisely

You may want to invest your money and start getting a return as quickly as possible, but first, you must do your homework and consider the type of property you want and what sort of tenant you need. You might be thinking about students, but what if there isn’t a market for students in the area?

Top tip Speak to the professionals. We know the Torbay market locally and can advise you accordingly.

2. Decide how Much Involvement You Want

Decide what sort of landlord you want to be. Will you be hands-on and do a lot of the maintenance work yourself, or do you want to get tradespeople in to do the work for you?

Top Tip If you’re relying on tradespeople, ask around and develop a list of trusted contacts to be used when required.

3. Will You Manage the Property?

There are quite a few things you need to do including getting gas and electric certificates, collecting rent, dealing with maintenance and other issues, even managing the process of eviction should it come to that.

So, are you able to do much of this management yourself, or do you need an experienced lettings manager to take the strain?

Top Tip We can help you find a tenant, sort the contracts and look after the management – if you want us to!

4. Understand the Potential Net Returns

You may have money in the bank to invest in property. You may also have the desire to be a landlord and are thinking of the potential returns. But, have you actually done the maths?

Sit down with a pen and paper and do some research into all the other costs, for example:

  • Landlords Insurance
  • Servicing and gas and electric safety certificates
  • EPC certificate
  • Costs of repairs and maintenance
  • Tax
  • Void Periods
  • Tenant Acquisition
  • Utility Bills
  • Management Fees

This is to name but a few!

Top Tip Make sure you can afford it. This might sound silly, but if the returns aren’t as great as you think, and the additional costs rack up, you could be in for a surprise.

5. Be Aware that Property Prices can go Up and Down!

Property is a sound investment most of the time. We would definitely recommend being a buy-to-let landlord, particularly in Torbay , but you should be aware that property markets can go down as well as up.

Top Tip Be in it for the long run. Be patient as markets can fluctuate but a good landlord knows this and sticks with it.

6. Always get Insurance

We firmly advise that you need Landlords Insurance and Buildings Insurance and maybe even Contents Insurance too. It’s better to be safe than sorry and should anything untoward happen, you will know that you are covered.

Top Tip Speak with an experienced insurance broker. They will go through the level of cover you need and why.

7. Be Efficient and Keep Records of Everything

A buy-to-let property is best when it has a paying tenant of course. When it is empty, it costs you money. Landlords who can move quickly when they need to find a tenant are the ones who have successful businesses.

Top Tip Make sure your paperwork is organised and in order. Keep a list of preferred suppliers including plumbers and electricians so that any work can be done quickly.

8. Choose the Right Lettings Agent

A good lettings agent will advise you on which area to look at when acquiring a property, and will know the sorts of rent you could expect to get. They’ll be able to recommend tradespeople, and be able to sort the contracts out. It’s worth doing your research and getting the right team in place.

Top Tip Seek recommendations from other landlords who have used an agent in your area.

9. Don’t Fall in Love with the Property

This is an interesting one. There’s a difference between liking a property and loving it. If you love it, you may well not see it as a business and it is a business that has to make money.

Top Tip You won’t be living in the property, but you can put your stamp on it in some way, perhaps the garden design for example.

10. Plan for the Future

While you have a property to rent out, ask yourself what your future plans look like:

  • What’s your long-term goal for the property?
  • Do you know whether you want to sell it eventually?
  • Do you want to keep it and live in it at some point?

Top Tip Set your goals right at the start. That way, you will know what to do and when to make the right decisions.

We have years of experience in helping buy-to-let landlords and we can help you. Please get in touch. Email us at neil@ridgewater.co.uk or call us on 01803 525100.