Help & Advice for Landlords
Buy-to-let (BTL) is an attractive prospect for many investors at the moment. While the days of BTL millionaires are long gone, it can certainly be a profitable investment strategy. Steady rent prices, lower house prices and mind-bogglingly-low mortgage rates create the perfect storm for first-time investors to begin building their property portfolio.
It is every landlord's nightmare when a tenant leaves their property in a state of disarray before the tenancy has ended. Unfortunately, some tenants disappear when money is tight but rent is due. It represents a major headache for landlords as, technically, the tenant still has a number of legal rights thanks to the terms laid out on their tenancy agreement form.
With the state of the housing market ushering in more renters than ever before, an increasing number of tenants are looking to make their temporary home as beautiful as they can. A DIY session is beneficial to renters as they can make a rented house a home in a vast number of ways but it also beneficial to landlords as tenants who feel they are living in a nice dwelling are more inclined to look after the property.
Handing over the keys to an asset worth in excess of £150,000 to (barring a couple of brief meetings) a total stranger has to be one of the hardest duties of a landlord. Similarly, the tenant is parting with hundreds of pounds each month to be put up in a well-maintained property. What's to say their landlord will be trustworthy enough to provide as much?
While more people turn to rental accommodation as a cost-effective way of living, an increased amount of investors are deciding to enter the property market to cater for the demand. Collecting the rent and finding a suitable tenant might sound easy from the perspective of a buy-to-let newbie. However, underestimating the many crucial roles of a landlord could permanently damage the reputation of a property owner, leaving their nest egg aspirations in tatters.
The key to becoming a successful member of the buy-to-let community lies within an attentive approach. For instance, you shouldn't need an industry insider to inform you that tenants require more than a set of keys to be truly satisfied with your service. Becoming a landlord means having to deal with any property repairs and maintenance to ensure that your own asset is in a habitable condition. You must also keep your documentation in-date and protect your tenant's deposit using a government approved scheme.
If such requirements have only just come to light, you've a little more to learn about your new side project before making an investment. Fortunately for you, we've included valuable nuggets of information on the ins and outs of property renting in our handy guides, written specifically for aspiring landlords.
Is it for you?
Few people won't be interested in the chance to earn a little extra income on the side of their main job, but not all are suitable to take up this opportunity. You have to determine whether a hands-on role, involving plenty of face-to-face communication really lends itself to your traits and qualities.
As far as the individual qualities are concerned, landlords much be reachable and organised if they're to earn the trust of their tenants. They must be motivated to succeed and, much like any business owner, professional in their approach when addressing a situation. We'll give you the low-down on exactly what's required before you delve deep into your new role.
Aside from acting as the first port of call in the event of a problem, landlords are required to keep their property in suitable condition whilst it's being rented out.
Any maintenance and repair costs fall at the feet of a landlord, as does the duty of providing documents like gas safety certificates. In this particular instance, an annual inspection of gas supply and gas appliances must be carried out by a qualified engineer. Failure to comply with regulations may lead to prosecution, with fines of up to £25,000 handed out to the worst culprits. Our articles detail exactly what's required of you during a short-hold tenancy, along with advice on how to retain possession of your asset.
The market at present
Finally, we'll aim to teach you a thing or two about why so many are flocking to the buy-to let market.
For many, the rental property represents a highly attractive investment in a time of low rates and stock market volatility. Economic uncertainty means the families of Britain are now finding it harder to raise enough money to buy a house, leaving them with no other option but to delay their move and seek a short-term solution.
On the other hand, those left less wealthy by the recession are having to curb their long-term aspirations and remain in 'generation rent' as they search for a new vacancy or opportunity to arise. As our articles state, it's now up to the landlords of Britain to provide a suitable stop-gap while they lull over their next significant step in life.
Armed with such knowledge and a desirable property, there should be nothing stopping you from becoming a reputable, successful and trustworthy landlord on your first venture into the housing market.