When you are looking at a number of properties as a means of a new buy-to-let investment, it is important that you enter into property purchase negotiations knowing everything there is to know about the property involved.
Whether you’re planning a simple flip or a complex renovation a HomeBuyer Report or a Building Condition Survey is essential as it will affect how you proceed with the next step.
As a landlord you should be familiar with undertaking adequate quality control on your investments, however once more for the cheap seats at the back – it is always recommended to do your research before simply going ahead and purchasing a property.
A professional surveyor will be able to provide a detailed analysis of the property, highlighting any defects found which may affect its rentability in the future.
Renting property as it is
A survey is incredibly important if you are planning on purchasing a property and not making any renovations or reparations before you start renting it out, particularly if you are going to be pretty fussy about who you want to be renting to.
At the very base end of the spectrum you might be able to get away with a few defects or issues if you happen to be renting to students, however while they will be less likely to speak up about defects they will also not be likely to recommend you to any future tenants so it is a double edged sword. Older and wise renters will be less amenable. Read aslo Top Things to Know Before you Rent to Students.
A thorough report will highlight any defects that you may have missed upon inspection and will in many cases also provide you with a rough idea of cost for any repairs or renovations.
A survey is essential if you want to purchase a property, put in the relevant repairs and then rent it out, as this provides a clear and concise idea of what needs doing and where. You will get a good understanding of how much needs doing to bring the property up to par and some reports will also detail how much this may cost, making it even more useful for landlords looking for a ‘fixer upper’.
In some cases a survey may highlight a number of defects not previously seen that would make it a pretty big job if you’re trying to get it back to renting condition, so although you may be set back a bit for the cost of the survey, it will certainly help to save your money in the long run when looking for a salvageable property.
Choosing the right Survey
Depending on the construction and the age of the property, you will want to request a particular survey to make sure that the surveyor has the right level of expertise for your particular property.
Chartered Surveyors or Independent Surveyors may be phrases that you hear thrown around quite a lot if you happen to be buying a house nowadays, but what do these words actually mean? And how can a Surveyor help me when I am trying to purchase a property? Read more
For example, for newer properties a HomeBuyer Report is often recommended as surveyors who specialise in HomeBuyer Reports will have extensive experience in more modern, contemporary properties. The report is structured in such a way that it provides helpful information for newer properties, with regards to essential repairs and renovations that may need to be made.
In contrast a Building Condition Report is recommended for older properties and timber framed buildings, including buildings of non-traditional construction. In general, surveyors who have more experience will offer a Building Condition Report which takes a closer inspection of timber framed properties, looking at potential issues that may not be present in more contemporary properties. Surveyors conducting a Building Condition Report will be able to look at older defects such as issues with thatching, cob and timber framed properties and even suggests how reparations can be made for mould and damp spots found in older properties.
However you decide to approach the purchase of a property, it is essential that you request a detailed report so that you have a clear analysis of any potential or immediate problematic defects found, which allows you to enter into property negotiations with a clear head. Even if, as a landlord you have conducted this process several times before, there may always be something that you happen to miss out in your own inspection of the property, so it is always recommended to request a thorough analysis from a professional.