As a Landlord making buy to let profitable has undoubtedly become more challenging in recent times. The recent tidal wave of rules and regulations have left many investors feeling overwhelmed and others like they are drowning in a sea of red tape. From minimum energy efficiency standards, mandatory electrical installation inspections, Taxation and the Tenant fee Ban being the most recent and forthcoming changes. With most Landlords typically owning their buy to let investments for 15 years or more, success in property investment is all about playing the long game. As an Investor, you’ve worked hard to buy your property and now more than ever, your property needs to work hard for you. This week, I share my top tips on how to maximise the income potential of your investments whilst keeping on the right side of the law.
1) Legal compliance
The growth of the Private Rented Sector has seen a lot of regulatory changes in recent times. This has been especially challenging for self-managing Landlords. Working with a reputable Letting Agent to let or manage your property will save you time and money and ensure your home is fully compliant. Tenant safety in rental property is paramount, there are hefty fines, and in some cases imprisonment for any flouting of the regulations. Did you know there are presently 151 laws relating to Landlords and over 400 regulations?
A comprehensive marketing campaign of your property is crucial in helping you to attract the widest pool of prospective tenants. Apart from listing on the main portals, if for example, your property attracts sharers, it should be listed on any platform that is specifically for that target market. Social media platforms like Facebook enable geographically targeted campaigns as well as the option to list in local groups to help raise awareness. The use of video has proven to increase enquiries fivefold. From enquiry it creates engagement and competition for your property to give you the pick of the tenants for a premium rent.
3) Professional Photography and Floor Plans
When marketing your property, its pays to take advantage of showing off all its best attributes and what the location has to offer. Investing in professional photography, getting the lighting and angles right and producing detailed floor plans, will present your home at its best. Presentation is crucial, your home is offered in competition not isolation to others- you’ve got to stand out to win out!
4) The Rent and Avoiding the Voids
When assessing the rent its crucial to check out what the local competition is offering and what asking rents are for homes like yours. Well-presented homes with good amenities will achieve top rent and attract a good tenant that may wish to stay long term. In some cases, it pays to fix the rent for a longer period, say 2 years in return for their commitment making it mutually beneficial. This means no income gaps, lower maintenance and re letting costs. Rents should be reviewed regularly to give you an insight on prevailing local market conditions at the time. If rents have fallen locally, offering a rent freeze or reduction for keeping a good tenant is worthwhile. This will have a strengthening effect on yields over the long term.
5) Be on your game.
You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the personal touch when it comes to tenants. Your renters will more likely want to stay if you’re proactive and personable.
Be prompt with your responses and make it easy for the tenant to contact you. Maintain open communication to reduce misunderstandings and create a better overall tenant-landlord relationship. Being approachable and proactive goes a long way in making your tenant feel comfortable in your property.
For example, if you need to get repairs done, aim to have work carried out in your tenant’s absence. This will minimise the inconvenience and make it far more tolerable for your tenant, especially if solutions can be brought about quickly. Ultimately, you need to put yourself in their position and provide the tenant a service that you would expect to receive.
If you’ve made a pledge to get something repaired or replaced before they move in, then make sure you honour it. It’s all about building trust, the tenant is your customer, and like all customers, if they’re not happy, they’ll vote with their feet.
Keep your tenant happy by being proactive with property maintenance and routinely performing property inspections, ideally once every 3 months.
It can be very frustrating for tenants living in a home with unaddressed maintenance issues. Problems don’t age well, deal with them when they’re small. Tenants will appreciate a prompt response and it shows that you care about their living experience in your property. This can be a big deciding factor when your tenant is considering a renewal. Being around also keeps you aware of goings on, if you’re not local, a reputable managing agent will be your eyes and ears.
At Ashmore Residential we carry out an annual check-up on each property we let , manged or otherwise. We work closely with Landlords building a long-term plan to grow their investments. By keeping a close eye on local market conditions, we’ll send you a written report on your home’s current value for both sale and rental and what competing homes are offering, giving you the edge. This will help you decide whether your portfolio could be tweaked or managed better to maximise the return on your investments.
Before you release the keys your buy to let property needs to have certification for gas and electrical safety installation and energy efficiency. With mandatory deposit protection, a professionally drafted inventory with photos is an integral part of the process to avoid future disputes. Landlords need to ensure they’ve adequate insurance and legal expenses cover if tenant’s default due to redundancy, accidents or ill health.
For more articles like this visit my blog https://www.ashmoreresidential.com/blog/ If you’d like to know more about buy-to –let or would be interested in working with me, I can advise you on a range of things; from how to maximise the income potential from property, where and what to buy.
Call the office on 020 8366 9777 or drop me a line [email protected]