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Seven top tips for buy-to-let property investors

First impressions count:

From paintwork to windows, doors and the garden, first impressions are everything. It is worth bearing in mind that this is not just about the property, but is indicative of you as a landlord too. A property that is in less than good order reflects a landlord who doesn’t care about maintaining a standard of presentation and prospective tenants may fear that repairs will be overlooked. This could deter professional tenants with high expectations and this is exactly the demographic that is more likely to look after your property throughout the tenancy.


Two to three-bedroom properties have the highest demand: 

This size works well as it incorporates couples who wanting a little extra space, families with children and the older generation who require an extra room for family. Smaller properties tend to narrow the net to singles and couples, whereas larger properties are unaffordable for many. It is also worth considering that the higher the price, the lower the yield percentage is likely to be.

Houses and bungalows are more popular than apartments: 

Again, it is all about widening your audience and increasing your choice of tenant. Apartments are usually smaller, with limited or no private parking and no garden. There is a greater risk of problematic neighbours, sound-proofing issues and queries about communal space. Houses and bungalows do not usually have these setbacks. Ultimately you want to make it as easy as you can for yourself. 


Location, location, location:

Most investor landlords will purchase properties in or near a main town or village with good access via road and public transport to the town centre and trunk roads. For a non-driving mother with a pushchair and those with limited mobility, this makes travelling to the shops and amenities much easier. 


Off-road parking  is a huge bonus:

An increasing number of tenants now have one or two vehicles per household and while on-road parking usually isn’t a deal-breaker, it is a real bonus. Being able to park outside your property in a designated space or driveway is deemed a necessity by many, particularly after a long day at work or when transporting shopping or young children from vehicle to home.


Don’t overlook the garden:

Whether it’s a small patio for a glass of wine and a BBQ on a summer’s evening or a larger space for the children to play safely, a garden is a must. It is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the garden throughout a tenancy so there will be little or no need for the landlord to be involved with ongoing upkeep.


Check the electrics:

Ensure the central heating and electrical systems are serviced and in good working order prior to purchase. It might be possible to arrange the seller to have these checked and certificated as part of the purchase price. You want the property to be safe for your tenants, but also reduce the risk of repairs in the future. 

If you are considering purchasing a buy-to-let property, contact the team your local Stags office who can provide free pre-purchase advice, information on the current market, guidance on the potential yields and advice on the best locations.