When considering investing in a buy-to-let property, it is important that you follow this advice.
Buying property to let as a medium to long term investment to generate an income has become an increasingly popular option over recent years, especially at a time of low interest rates and stock market productivity. A demand from would-be tenants of rental property remains strong in many areas of the region.
A buy-to-let investment has the potential to generate an income, but it is vital that you do things right.
Stags is able to guide you through the purchase, letting and management of your buy-to-let property or portfolio. Below are some simple factors you should consider first:
1. Research the market
Carefully research the local market and tenant demand in the area you intend to buy
- Establish the tenant demand and the most sought-after size, style and type of property required
- Consider local amenities and main lines of communication and employment that will all help to ensure your property is let quickly; choose an area where people want to live
- Do not let personal taste cloud your judgement
2. Do the math, then do it again
- Get your sums right; will the rent cover borrowings and costs after allowing for void periods?
- As a landlord you will continue to be responsible for maintenance costs and servicing of fixtures and fittings to include boilers and buildings insurance.
- It is best not to purchase a property that will require lots of ongoing maintenance.
- What will the cost of refurbishment prior to letting be? The less you have to do the better
- Think of buy-to-let as a medium to long-term investment
- Do not be over ambitious and opt for a realistic yield and capital growth
- If you intend to borrow, ensure you choose a mortgage that best suits your current and future needs
- Take advice from an experienced independent mortgage advisor
- You will need money to cover upfront costs including the deposit, legal fees and stamp duty
- The income from renting properties is taxable but you will be able to offset some of the costs you incur as a landlord including:
- Agency fees
- Insurance premiums
- Cost of repairs and renewals
- Accountancy and other professional fees
- If and when you decide to sell your buy-to-let investment, the proceeds could be subject to capital gains tax
- There have been many recent changes to the way in which a buy-to-let investment is taxed and you must ensure you are fully aware of these. Visit www.hmrc.gov.uk for more information.
4. Beware of your landlord obligations
As a buy-to-let landlord you have obligations to your tenants and need to comply with certain regulations including:
- Gas and electrical safety
- Repairing and maintenance obligations
- Fire safety
- Deposit protection
- Tenancy agreements and notices
- Energy Performance Certificates
Stags, as a bonded agent of ARLA and the RICS, is required to work within the best codes of practice and has qualified members of staff with many years of experience in advising landlords.
5. Looking after your investment
You will need to decide how you would like your property to be managed during the tenancy. Stags is able to offer a number of tailored services to suit everyone.
Many buy-to-let landlords require a fully-managed service as a third party will be dealing with all aspects of the letting and management of the property, including the collection of rent.
You may wish to manage the tenancy and property yourself and therefore might prefer our Rent Collection or Let Only services. To find out more about our services please visit Landlords Letting and Management Services.
6. Protect your rental income
We take pride in looking after and protecting your investment and aim to remove the stress from letting your property by:
- Offering tailored letting and management services that ensure your property and money are looked after
- Using a qualified and licenced ARLA agent to ensure property assets and money are protected
- Offering rent guarantee insurance to protect your rental income and investment - please contact a member of Stags Lettings department to find out more