What to look for when purchasing a buy to let property

Buy to let is still a very popular investment choice for those with funds to raise a deposit, especially compared to low savings rates and stock market swings.

In addition, mortgage rates are at record lows, the property market is buoyant and Robinson & Hall are seeing the majority of their properties let on the first or second viewing.

If buy to let is new to you or you need a refresher on what to look for, Robinson & Hall have created the following tips to ensure that you are ahead of the game and making the right choices.

1.    Make sure you have an experienced letting agent on board to give you advice and help – we have been helping both first time and experienced landlords to find suitable rental properties for years.

2.    Research the property market – look to see what else is available and speak to your agent to ask what type of properties their applicants are looking for. One to three bedroom properties seem to get snapped up much quicker than the rest.

3.    Consider your ideal tenant – if you are looking for a family, is your property close to schools? Or if you are looking for a professional, how close are the nearest transport links?

4.    Consider the property’s utilities – gas and electric are preferred, oil is thought of as expensive. 

5.    What is the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating? If it is below an E then improvements must be made to make it fit for rental.

6.    Have the electrics been checked recently? If not make sure they are.

7.   Has your boiler been serviced? It is a legal requirement to have the boiler serviced annually; old unreliable boilers should be replaced to an efficient, reliable, tenant friendly boiler.

8.    How is the property decorated? Neutral colours are preferred.

9.    If you are looking for apartments then make sure to check the block management and ground rent charges so you don’t get caught out.

10. Is there an allocated parking space? This is preferred.

11. Is there outdoor space and a garage? These are preferred.

12. Are there any warranties on the items left in the house? For example, windows, white goods, etc.

13. Remember the second property tax – make sure you have the 3% tax allowance in mind when making any purchase decisions and be mindful that further tax changes are planned.

 Always discuss with your letting agent directly, get their advice, send them links to houses you are thinking of buying, and if possible, take them on the viewings with you. We would be more than happy to help.

 If you would like further advice and information about our residential lettings services then please call Kellie Marsh, Residential Lettings Manager at Robinson & Hall

Posted by: Robinson & Hall LLP

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