How to Be a Buy to Let Landlord

TheCheese By TheCheese, 10th Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Property & Real Estate>General

The heady days of the ‘90s buy to let property boom may be long gone, but property in many areas remains a solid investment.

Tenants

Finding good tenants is essential to making a success of being a landlord. Any time that you property is standing empty it is costing you money, so you are going to want to keep this to a minimum.

It is vital that you have tenants that can afford to pay the rent that you are asking. It is also a good idea to check the background and references of prospective tenants to see if they are at risk of missing rent payments or trashing your property.

Maintenance

One of the advantages of renting is that someone else has to take care of all maintenance and repairs. As a landlord, that somebody else is you. This means that either you or somebody acting on your behalf has to be ready to spring into action when pipes spring leaks or other disasters befall your property.

Funding regular upkeep can be expensive, to say nothing of emergency repairs. Having good relationships with tradespeople you trust is vital for taking care of this, although many landlords will undertake as much as they can themselves to save money. Special buy to let insurance is available which can cover multiple properties, meaning that you would be less out of pocket if you had to pay for a number of repairs at once.

Letting Agencies

The temptation to use letting agencies can be strong. There are a lot of advantages to taking this approach. Employing a letting agent means that someone else is there to take care of all the ‘landlord’ business, so you don’t have to.

A letting agent will advertise to find tenants, perform the necessary checks and paperwork and collect the deposit and rent for you. Depending on the arrangement that you have with them you can even get them to handle maintenance issues.

The big downside to using letting agencies is the cost. Agencies make their money by charging fees. They charge fees to tenants, and as a landlord they would be charging you too. Of course there are a lot of reputable agencies, but unfortunately there are also a lot of rip-off merchants – as a landlord you are just as vulnerable to shabby business practices as tenants.

Conclusion

Being a buy to let landlord is far from being ‘easy money’. Although it is hard work, there are definitely rewards to be reaped. People will always need somewhere to live, and all indications are that demand in the rental sector should remain strong in lot of areas. In addition to this there is every chance that the property you own will appreciate beyond the rate of inflation, so it is definitely worth thinking about if you have the opportunity.

Tags

Investment, Property, Property Management

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Comments

author avatar Rose*
27th Dec 2013 (#)

Being a buy-to-let landlord can be very hard work - tenants can be demanding and also quite hard on the fabric of the house.

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