Because you can never be careful enough – an inventory for new and old landlords
There is no doubt that by taking the plunge into the bricks and mortar industry, you could stand to make a healthy amount of money. However, as with any line of work, there is always an element of risk and if you are blasé enough to think that you are immune to these potential pitfalls, then you will inevitably fail. For those of you looking to head into the rental property market, below is an inventory checklist that you should endeavour to follow to give yourself the best chance of being a success in your new line of work.
- You will obviously need some sort of finance to provide the launch pad to your new career. A mortgage for buy-to-let purposes will probably be what you are looking for but don’t take the first one thrust in front of you. Scour and devour all the options out there and, if you are heading to a broker, do so to one that has a great contact book of providers.
- Knowing the sort of clientele that you are aiming to attract is vital because it will influence the property type that you are after. It should be appropriate to serve the needs of your tenants and priced accordingly. It could also impact on your landlord insurance premium, so do this kind of primary research before purchasing.
- Geography is absolutely critical. Buying an abode on the edge of town, away from all local amenities and transport links, and then wishing to attract professionals is obviously all wrong. Very much linked in with point 2, getting this wrong could mean a lot of money down the drain.
- Already touched upon, but knowing the sort of person you want in your property is vital. To kit out your pad to pander for the needs of white colour professionals and to then put in a bunch of students would no doubt be the result of poor planning as would not knowing the background of your tenants. You can never be too trusting in this industry and with underwriters often wanting guarantees before they issue rental property insurance agreements, you have to be absolutely vested to your tenants.
- Landlord insurance cover is an absolute necessity. Having taken stock of all your needs, including tenant type, their belongings, your own contents and materials you should head to a specialist in the field. Shop around and be devilish – as a claim against you could curtail not only your cash flow but seriously maim your portfolio.
- You obviously want to make a success of your new venture, so decorate the property accordingly. After all, no one wants to live in a prison cell lookalike, no matter how cheap the rental price.
- The same applies to the quality and quantity of contents you supply. Understanding the needs of your tenants is important here – a family will have different needs to a lone, young working professional – as is knowing what they are providing for themselves.
- Maintaining your property is your responsibility and you will have a legal, as well as a contractual, duty of care to your inhabitants. If you do not have the inclination to do so, perhaps you should think about bringing in a specialist to do it on your behalf. Failure to understand your responsibilities could land you in hot water in which you will not be able to swim.
- In today’s world of claim and counter claim, knowing your legal position should always be known at any single point. Sit down with a legal professional and clarify all the rules and regulations that you, as a landlord, should be aware of. Though it may be at a cost, it is a cost well worth expending.
- Always work within a budget, and to reality. Nothing happens overnight so never be tempted to run before you can walk. Being a landlord can be lucrative but portfolio development takes time, so be patient.
If you want to become a buy-to-let magnate, you should do so with your eyes open. It is lengthy process involving hard work and a lot of problem solving, but by following our loose advice guide you’ll be on the right steps. You can thank us later!