Buy to Let Tips


I'm Brett, and I've been a landlord since 2006, and a tenant of various properties since 1991. Here are some property investing tips I've picked up along the way...

  • Smaller properties are generally much easier to rent out than larger ones. Studio and one bedroom apartments in popular areas usually get let out so quickly that letting agencies sometimes don't need to even upload them to property websites - they have a list of tenants waiting to move in ASAP.
  • Newly built properties attract premium prices, which can reduce yield. A tenant will pay more to live in a new property, but not much more...
  • If you're buying to let in a particular area, then get to know that area, and who the potential renters in that area are. For example, is there a major employer in the area, or is there a University close by?
  • To maximise yield, you need to buy property when the economy is bad and house prices are under pressure.
  • Void periods are expensive, and reduce your yield. So look to price your rents at a competitive rate, but don't compromise on tenant quality.
  • When choosing a Buy to Let property, don't overlook Parking. I once rented a lovely terraced house, but it was incredibly hard to let out! Why? Because it was on a main road and didn't have any parking outside the property. It was even next to a bus stop, but being a mile and a half from the town centre, people wanting to rent in that area were much more likely to be drivers.
  • Who you buy the property from makes a significant difference. Some Estate Agencies are known to price properties more aggressively than their competitors. So when researching an area, take time to get to know the agencies in that area, and their pricing strategies.
  • Repossessions and property auctions can offer the potential to buy properties at very attractive yields. However, you need to be a lot more careful when buying at auction, particularly if you need to make quick decisions.
  • Before buying a leasehold property, always be sure to find out what the annual management charges are likely to be. Some developments have reasonable charges, but others charge outrageous sums for a minimal standard of service.
  • When buying a leasehold property, also check how long the lease runs for. Some properties have leases as long as 999 years, whereas some may have less than 99 years. Lease lengths are generally set from the time the property was built, but it is often possible to extend a property's lease (at a fee of course).
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University Towns

Low Cost Areas

Area Beds Min Price
CH42 2 £29,950
DL4 2 £29,950
DL17 2 £30,000
L1 1 £35,000
ST4 2 £35,000
DY11 2 £36,000
PR3 2 £38,000
BB9 2 £39,950
G67 2 £39,950
NE63 2 £39,950
WS12 2 £40,000
S4 2 £40,000