Easy Street - Back to basics for Landlords, part one

Posted 23/06/2016 by: Reeds Rains

There is no doubt that lettings is a business, and a complex one at that. And over the coming years, as taxation increases and reliefs we have been used to receiving are withdrawn, it will undoubtedly be harder to make money from Buy to Let – harder, but not by any means impossible! 

Our new ‘back to basics’ series will explain all the key costs for Buy to Let and look at how you can strike the tricky balance of maintaining a property to a high standard and maximising rental income, while keeping costs as low as possible. 

Here’s an introduction to what we’ll be looking at over the coming months:

Costs to review regularly 

  • Mortgage. This is likely to be your biggest monthly cost by far, unless you own the property outright.
  • Insurance. There is good innovation in the landlord insurance market, so it’s important to know what’s new and check you are always paying the best rates in return for cover that protects you as you need it to.
  • Maintenance. This is always hard to get right, but as we maintain tens of thousands of properties every year, we can guide you through all the costs you’ll incur during the life of your let, to make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises. 
  • Void periods. These are often not taken properly into consideration by landlords and it’s vital you don’t get caught out. Some areas have voids that last days, others can last months. We understand that you lose money if the property is not let, so we’ll give you our top tips to minimise voids.
  • Tenant and property management. This can be very time consuming and it’s not for everyone. You need to decide whether you’re able to deal with everything yourself or whether it would be better to let us handle it all for you. For example, there are currently 145 rules and regulations governing letting a property legally - how will you keep yourself up to date? 
  • Safety checks. With 29 Housing Health and Safety Rating rules to abide by, keeping your safety checks up to date but affordable is vital and we’ll explain the pitfalls.
  • Eviction and legal support. At some point, every landlord experiences a problem that requires legal help. We’ll explain how much it will cost and the best way to evict a tenant quickly and correctly.

Ways to maximise your rental income

  •  All inclusive? Just like a holiday, sometimes it makes sense to maximise your income through renting by the room or simply including all the bills, but you need to be aware of the ways that people can take advantage of this system, so we’ll explain the pros and cons.
  • Make sure the property is clean throughout. No-one wants to live in a home that isn’t clean, but from some of the case studies that make it to the papers or TV, it’s clear some landlords cut corners. We’ll explain what ‘clean’ actually means! 
  • Keep up with fashion. Although you don’t want to spend a fortune updating your property, the more modern it looks, the more likely it will let quickly at the best rent. 
  • Tech spec. Fast broadband speeds and good phone signals are now a ‘must have’ and tenants will be prepared to pay a good level of rent for an excellent service.
  • Take advantage of tax breaks. Although tax for landlords is increasing, you still have access to a number of tax breaks. Do you know what costs you can deduct and what most landlords miss? We’ll explain what you can do to keep tax bills to a minimum. 

Want to know more or have a question? Then email, call or visit our Reeds Rains letting experts with your query and they will give you one to one help and advice. 

RR AprilLandlord 2004


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