27 point checklist of a successful buy-to-let landlord

5 min Read Published: 14 Jun 2021

27 point checklist of a successful buy-to-let landlordIf you are contemplating investing in a buy-to-let property, there are some key areas you need to address to guarantee a successful outcome to your investment.

Decide your strategy

If you are considering investing in your first buy-to-let property then you will need to decide your investment goals and the strategy you are going to adopt. A business plan needs to be created, well ahead of your initial investment, covering the following areas:

  • 1 - How much money are you going to invest, and will you purchase the property with cash or will you require a mortgage?
  • 2 - What is the purpose of the investment, do you want to create a monthly income, capital appreciation, or both?
  • 3 - How many properties do you want in your portfolio and are you looking to build a portfolio of properties or just stick with one?
  • 4 - What type of property are you going to choose for your investment (houses, apartments, student lets, or even commercial properties)?
  • 5 - What is your exit strategy when you eventually need to realise your investment? When and how is this going to happen?

Do your research

  • 6 - The motto 'never invest in something you don't understand' is never truer than with buy-to-let. Research, research, and then do more research.
  • 7 - Understand the properties and the locations that will give you the best yields on your investment.
  • 8 - Understand the problems that can arise in owning a buy-to-let property and the timescales in realising your investment when the time comes.
  • 9 - If you know somebody who has invested in buy-to-let properties then talk to them about their experiences good and bad.

Choosing the right property

  • 10 - Find out what areas are best for rental property yields.
  • 11 - Do want a property ready to let or are you prepared to do some work in bringing a property up to rental standard?
  • 12 - Do you want to invest close to your home or are you prepared to look elsewhere for the best potential yield?
  • 13 - Talk to estate agents about the best properties to buy form their point of view and local knowledge.
  • 14 - Always buy a property on the basis of rental yield not on the basis of whether you would live in it yourself.

Decide what tenants you are going to accept

  • 15 - Will you allow children, pets, and smokers in your property?
  • 16 - Will you allow those on benefits to rent your property?
  • 17 - Will you let to students?
  • 18 - Who will vet the tenants: you or a letting agent?

Investment management

  • 19 - Will you manage the property yourself or are you going to use the services of a letting agent?
  • 20 - If you use a letting agent, will they manage everything or just the job of finding a tenant and do you know the costs involved?
  • 21 - If you are managing the property yourself, do you have a maintenance person or company who can deal with any emergency call-outs?

Do your sums

  • 22 - Understand the full cost of buying such as stamp duty, solicitor fees, and any mortgage fees prior to making your first purchase.
  • 23 - Understand the ongoing costs such as mortgage payments, insurance costs, maintenance costs, letting agent fees and potential void periods.

Understand the legal issues

Shop around for the best mortgage

  • 26 - If you are requiring a mortgage to purchase your buy-to-let property, shop around to get the best deal.
  • 27 - You could source the best deal yourself or employ the services and knowledge of a professional mortgage adviser* or use an online mortgage specialist such as Habito*.


If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses - Habito

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