So what are the most common landlord mistakes, and how can you avoid them?
Overpricing the rental value
Vendors will often talk up the rental value of their property, but landlords can easily check the actual value by talking to estate agents and checking properties on the market.
In a highly price-sensitive market, seeking inflated rent will mean the property remain will remain vacant while the outgoings continue.
Price it right at the beginning rather than reducing it a few weeks down the line.
Poor presentation and cheap furniture
People rent as a lifestyle choice, perhaps they can’t afford to buy. Many tenants will rent on long term basis. They want a property that feels like home, If the property is not looked after by the landlord, tenants will treat it badly or move into a better property.
Good furniture lasts longer and presents the property better.
Getting inadequate tenant references
Landlords need to know a prospective tenant can and will pay the rent.
It is important to check the employer and bank references. Rent should not be more than half of their income. References will help determine whether they will be a good tenant who will pay on time and treat the property well.
Employ a good property manager
Many landlords employ bad managing agents or don’t use one at all, which is particularly inadvisable when managing a property from abroad. It is a business and properties need to be looked after and problems sorted out quickly.
A good property manager will deal with problems, carry out regular inspections, and ensure the landlord’s legal obligations are complied with.
A good agent knows when to serve the right notices and how to do so, a mistake that an inexperienced landlord often makes.
Location, location, location
When supply and demand swings in favour of tenants, tenants always chose the property in the best location.
A location that appeals to a range of tenants is the best option to ensure minimal void periods and maximum letting potential, as well as future capital appreciation. If the rental value is low, there is a reason for that.
Being financially overstretched
Paying the right price at the start is key, but landlords must also be realistic about continuing costs. A boiler can break down at great expense or you could have a leak that needs urgent attention.
Calculate what you can afford and all the expenses that you may face as a landlord at the beginning. It’s also vital to take professional advice on finding an appropriate mortgage and to factor in the likelihood of an interest-rate rise in the future.
Failing to visit the property
A frequent error that landlords or their managing agents make is to not visiting the property on a regular basis.
Landlords need to keep an eye on what is going on in the property and who is living there. Regular checks will also prevent small issues, such as a leaking pipe or similar.
Not putting themselves in their tenant’s shoes
Landlords should buy with the head, not the heart as they are not the person who will live in the property. Disengage your emotions and buy a property that will generate a good return. Don’t buy a place you like but that is entirely unsuitable for the tenants you have in mind.
Approach the decoration and fittings in the same way. Go for generic colours and furnishings, and think of your future tenants at all times.
Obtain the correct insurance
Standard home insurance is not designed for rental properties. Landlords will need to take out a buy to let buildings insurance and landlords contents insurance that includes public liability cover, in case a tenant makes a claim against them for an accident they have in the property.
Landlords may also choose to take out rent guarantee insurance to cover unpaid rent if the tenant is still in the property.
Come and talk to us. If you have any questions on property or block management, please contact Pelin Martin to book a 30-minute complimentary property consultation on +0208 994 7327 – firstname.lastname@example.org