Across the UK, house prices are rising, making it harder for many buyers to get onto the housing
ladder. As a result, an increasing number are turning to rental property as their primary source of
accommodation. It is not always just because of money: renting has become a way of life, prompting
officials to coin the term “Generation Rent”.
As tenant numbers increase and housing supply remains tight, landlords are stepping in to fill
the gap, enjoying strong rental yields in the process. According to a 2013 survey by The Property
Academy, though, one third of landlords are inexperienced and have owned their property for less
than two years, leaving them facing a highly competitive sector with a string of unseen costs.
Planning to join the buy to let boom? Here are eight simple steps from the experienced team at
www.TheMoveChannel.com for landlords to save money:
Pick the right property
It nearly always comes back to this: picking the right property. If you choose a home that is too
expensive for your budget, maintenance can prove costly in the long run. More importantly, make
sure you pick a property in the right location: if your home is near a city centre or close to good
transport links, you will find no end of tenants looking to let it out. If you choose a home in the
middle of nowhere, you will find yourself facing long void periods with no income at all.
Pick the right mortgage and insurance
The government’s Funding for Lending scheme is making funding more accessible for 2013 landlords,
but it is important to be sure that you get the best buy to let mortgage rates out there. The same
goes for landlord insurance cover as well – both can bite you in the buy to let behind if you are not
careful. Take care to shop around and compare providers. Once you have been a landlord for a year,
do the same again to make sure you have not missed out on new deals.
Negotiate with agents
You have your funding, your insurance and the right home to go with it – now you just need to find
tenants. The best way to do so can be to entrust your property to more experienced experts. Be
prepared, though, to negotiate with your letting agent to secure the most favourable rates possible.
… or go your own way
Alternatively, avoid the third part costs altogether by letting your home out privately. There are an
increasing number of online portals that allow landlords to advertise rental property directly. What
you save in money, though, can cost you in the time taken to check all of your paperwork and legal
requirements are met.
Need to provide furniture for your tenants? Do not go straight out to the shops and buy brand new
furniture: check sites such as Freecycle to see if there are second hand alternatives. Obviously, these
must be in good condition (and complete with the Furniture and Furnishings Regulations) but a few
hours spent hunting in the right places could save you a large amount of money.
Stash your cash
Always be prepared for something to go wrong. Vacancy periods, late rents, emergency evictions.
Anything could leave you without tenants at short notice, leaving you without your income. Take
precautions for a rainy day by having a backup fund to cover you for two months’ worth of mortgage
payments. That way, you can never be caught short.
The best way to make sure your tenants pay up on time? Be nice. Give them the minimum of 24
hours’ notice before you visit. Enquire after their health. Respond to their requests. The easiest way
to save money? Make sure there is never any reason not to get it.