Letting a property and becoming a landlord can be an attractive and exciting venture, but there is more to renting out a property than you may realise. Here at The Guild, we have created a helpful guide to finding a buy-to-let property.
What is a buy-to-let property?
A buy-to-let is exactly what you may expect; it is a property that has been purchased with the intention of letting it out.
What should you consider before buying the property?
If this is your first buy-to-let property, your focus is probably on the price, but there is a lot more to think about before looking for the right property. We have listed a few key things to think about before starting your search:
Consider the type of people you want to rent your property to. Are they students, working professionals or even families? It is important to have the type of tenant in mind so you can look for suitable qualities in a home, such as location, space and rental costs.
A student will prioritise being close to their university and amenities.
A family may be looking for a house with two or more bedrooms, plnety of storage space, a garden or an ideal location, close to a good school.
Working professionals may be looking to move to a property with a dedicated home office space.
Your potential tenant options may include:
• Working professionals
• Multiple occupancy / house shares
• Low-income tenants receiving housing benefits
• Your family members
Understanding the responsibilities involved
Becoming a landlord is not simply a case of getting a mortgage, buying a house and finding someone to live in your property – you are essentially running a business, which means you may be looking at getting a different type of mortgage, be subject to certain types of tax and will need to follow rules and regulations to rent out the property.
A few of the legal responsibilities a landlord must deliver include:
• Ensuring the property meets safety standards – which includes fitting alarms and carrying out regular safety checks
• Maintenance and repairs – such as structural repairs, damp prevention, electricity and plumbing repairs, etc
• Financial, legal and tax obligations – such as paying income tax, letting agent fees, mortgage fees, holding a deposit, dealing with issues with tenants, etc
Tip: Research all the responsibilities involved with being a landlord and use the services of an estate agent or a legal advisor to ensure you fulfil all required legal obligations.