An investors guide to becoming a landlord

As with most investments, you’ll need to become an expert in a new field and adapt to ongoing changes in regulation. The laws governing the private-rented sector can be overwhelming, but with the correct advice, property investors can set off on the right track.

Before investing in property, do your research. You’ll need to estimate your rental yield, calculated by the total annual rent divided by the asking price x 100.

When searching for an investment property, check out its location and ask letting agencies and other landlords for an insight into the area. Does it contain all the usual amenities and transport links? What kind of rental income do properties of this type usually achieve? Use an experienced and trained agent to help with your search.

When assessing a property, try to view it through the eyes of your prospective tenants. Is the property up to standard? Is it homely and in a good condition? What kind of repairs would it need? How much would ongoing maintenance cost? Getting a detailed survey will help you to understand if there are any underlying problems with the property.

When purchasing your buy-to-let property, you should have a clear picture of the kind of tenant you’re looking to attract and how you’ll need to cater for their needs. For example, students usually move home each September and will start searching for a property in the December/ January beforehand.

Before taking on a tenant, you should always undertake reference and credit checks (and Right to Rent checks if your property is in England) to make sure they are reliable. Carry out a detailed inventory of the property which includes photographic evidence to protect your investment. This will be important if you need to claim any money back from the tenant for any damage after they have moved out.

Letting residential property can be a rewarding and exciting experience. Landlords can enjoy a healthy and mutually beneficial working relationship with their tenants; but letting property is a hands-on job and you must keep the right side of the law.

Regulations change often, so if you’re thinking of investing in residential property and want it professionally managed on your behalf, contact us for professional advice on 01524 68811 or email lucy@suebridges.co.uk

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