5 min Read
13 Aug 2014

Written by Liam

Over 30 years experience in financial services, residential lettings and property sales. Director of a leading national estate agency chain, until leaving in 2008 to pursue other commercial interests. Vast experience in new business development, business change, management development and business strategy.

More about Liam

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

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

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.

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

Do your research

  • The motto 'never invest in something you don't understand' was never truer than with buy-to-let. Research,research and then do more research
  • Understand the properties and the locations that will give you the best yields on your investment
  • Understand the problems that can arise in owning a buy-to let property and the timescales in realising your investment when the time comes
  • 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

  • Find out what areas are best for rental property yields
  • Do want a property ready to let or are you prepared to do some work in bringing a property up to rental standard?
  • Do you want to invest close to your home or are you prepared to look elsewhere for the best potential yield?
  • Talk to estate agents about the best properties to buy form their point of view and local knowledge
  • 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

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

Investment management

  • Will you manage the property yourself or are you going to use the services of a letting agent?
  • 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
  • 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

  • Understand the full cost of buying such as stamp duty, solicitor fees and any mortgage fees prior to making your first purchase.
  • 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

  • If you are requiring a mortgage to purchase your buy-to-let property then shop around to get the best deal.
  • You could source the best deal yourself or employ the services and knowledge of a professional mortgage adviser to help with this task.

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