The well-documented upturn in the lettings market has led to an increase in the number of first-time buy-to-let investors attracted by the good yields many landlords are achieving, according to letting agents W H Brown in Crystal Peaks, Sheffield.
However, although buy-to-let has become an increasingly popular investment option and a way to secure a comfortable retirement, landlords need to get the basics right in order to be successful.
“Many people may think that being a landlord is a matter of sitting with your feet up and waiting for the money to roll in.
“However, there are in fact a number of important things to think about when deciding to let property and a number of responsibilities to consider once you become a landlord,” says Karen Cunningham, Lettings Manager at Crystal Peaks.
W H Brown has a few top tips to help things run smoothly as well as help to secure a return on investment as soon as possible.
1. Instruct a reputable agent and one that is a member of a regulated body such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
2. Get advice about the local lettings market – where to invest, the amount of rental income you can potentially achieve?
3. Get good financial advice about buy-to-let mortgages and work out all of your outgoings as a landlord as well as your income.
4. Take out buildings and contents insurance and check you have public liability cover. Consider getting legal expenses cover as if your tenants damage your property you may need to get legal advice.
5. Think about the tenants you would like – families, young professionals, students. Would you allow pets in the property and would you mind if a tenant smokes?
6. Would you prefer a lettings agency to take on the full management of the property? They can take care of dealing with the tenant, collecting rent and arranging any maintenance required.
7. Arrange preparation of an inventory. This details the items in your property and their condition prior to the property being let. This can be outsourced by your agent.
8. If you are working independently, think about consulting a reputable Letting Agent to carry out checks on prospective tenants’ credit and references to ensure they are responsible and reliable. By working with a Lettings Agent, they will check all paperwork to protect your rights.
9. Your Letting Agent will collect a deposit – usually a minimum of one month’s rent, as this provides security if your property is damaged or if your tenants leave early.
10. Your Letting Agent will ensure you comply with the Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation, which requires all deposits to be held by a third party and not by the landlord.
“There are lots of things to contemplate when deciding to become a landlord. We would recommend anyone considering letting a property for the first time to come and speak to us about the lettings market and the range of services we can provide to help your investment become a success,” says Karen.
For further information about becoming a landlord contact W H Brown in Crystal Peaks on 01142 514923 and speak to Kerry, Yvonne or Karen, or visit the branch at 6, Peaks Square, Crystal Peaks, Sheffield, S20 7PH.