The lettings market is arguably the trickiest area of the property sector to master, with ever changing legislations and schemes, as well as learning to manage properties and tenancies.
It can all be a lot at once, and it can be extremely easy for new landlords to feel out of their depth and struggle to even know where to start.
It's understandable; buying a buy-to-let property is probably one of the most important decisions you'll make, second only to owning your own house.
So, we have put together a landlord guide for new landlords to follow:
1. Research is key
It can be tempting to jump in at the deep end, but smart investors take their time, do their research, and use their money wisely.
There are endless resources at your disposal to help you learn and stay informed to make the right decisions.
Mistakes are likely to happen, but developing and using the knowledge to fix those issues is what makes good investors turn into great ones.
2. Have a strategy
When purchasing a buy-to-let property, it is important to ask yourself what you are looking for and what you are trying to achieve.
Different tenants will have different needs, so finding what suits your ideal tenant can be used to tailor a property around what they are looking for.
Location, local amenities and access to schools and universities are all unique points that can be key when trying to attract renters.
3. Know your numbers
Now, we’re not saying you need to be a number wiz to be a landlord, but knowing your metrics and figures is a big part of property investment and being a buy-to-let investor.
The key to investing is not having the most money; it is being intelligent with the money that you have.
Knowing area yields, average rents and perhaps most importantly, your return on investment are all tools you can use to assess if a property is worth investing in.
4. Use the experts
The sad but very real truth of the property market is that there are some out there who use tricks of the trade to hide problems from less experienced investors.
As a first-time investor or landlord, you'll want to avoid buying a property that will cost you a lot of money in the future.
As a result, it's always a good idea to rely on a licenced building surveyor's expertise to check for flaws you're not equipped to spot.
5. Don’t be tempted by the cheapest or easiest option
Being a landlord requires dedication and can often be an around-the-clock job.
A simple Google search for "investment property" yields a vast list of properties supposedly geared for investors. The easy option, as experienced landlords and investors will tell you, usually comes at a price.
Research the correct ways of running your business, listen to feedback and work with your tenants in order to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
6. Keep records of everything
Documentation and paperwork are a big part of buy-to-let investing, not only for all the legal requirements but also to keep back logs of transactions and disputes for day-to-day jobs too.
Storing things digitally is a far better way of staying in control of your files, but ensuring those files are organised correctly and stored securely is vital too.
7. Build your network
There are very few landlords or investors that operate alone.
The most successful property investors are surrounded by qualified advisors, and one of the most important things you can do is to assemble an experienced and reliable team.
Invest in your professional network and relationships and you will see the benefits.
If you need advice on buy to let success, contact your local Parkers office.