How can I maximise my annual rental return?
It’s hardly surprising that maximising annual rental return is a high priority for most landlords and there are many ways that you can try and achieve this – from appealing to a new market, to avoiding voids; from offering incentives, to maintaining your property to a good standard. Proprietor of Belvoir Camberley Craig Walker explains...
“One way to maximise your rental return is to furnish your property with high quality furnishings – this can then be aimed at the corporate market that will pay more for good quality fully-furnished properties,” says Craig.
“Another simple thing that can be done is to offer existing tenants in situ a small rental reduction in the last month in return for them agreeing to present the property in its best light, keeping it clean and tidy for viewings – this can help avoid periods of void.
“Of course, another must for all landlords is to keep their properties at a good standard by re-decorating every four years and replacing old tatty items too.”
What type of properties are currently in demand?
The type of properties in demand will vary from area to area. Potential buy-to-let landlords should research the area they are looking to invest in carefully, taking into account what other properties are renting well and what type of tenants they are likely to attract.
Look at the local infrastructure and amenities. Is there a university? If so, student accommodation is likely to let quickly. Is your area commutable to a main city or town? Yes? Then properties near major transport links should be considered. Are there good schools in the area? If so, larger family properties will be in demand.
If you’re unsure what type of properties are currently renting well, ask advice from a local property management agent who will be able to help you.
“As a general rule the most popular properties that are currently in demand are 2/3 bed houses with parking and private enclosed gardens which are close to transport links,” says proprietor of Belvoir Sale Alf Martin. “But your local letting agent will be able to advise you on the best potential buy-to-let purchases in your specific area.”
How do I ensure I get the ‘right’ kind of tenant?
In order to maximise your profit and minimise tenant/landlord disputes it is vital you find the ‘right’ kind of tenant for your property.
Tenants who don’t pay on time, don’t pay at all or don’t look after your property during the tenancy will severely affect your annual rental return and your experiences as a landlord.
“Getting the right kind of tenant is vitally important and depends on a number of factors,” says proprietor of Belvoir Birmingham Central Major Mahil. “Firstly you must look at the quality of the tenant and make sure they are suitable for the property. They must also state any County Court Judgments as some may not be acceptable.
“It’s very important to get adequate references and perform the necessary credit checks too. At Belvoir Birmingham Central our credit checks are done with Experian and we ensure there have been no pervious arrears – if there have been, then a tenant will not be accepted.”
How do I create a successful exit plan?
Before investing it any property, it is always advisable to have a long-term plan. How long are you intending to keep the property? And, what kind of capital increase can you expect? If the property you’re interested in has a ceiling price, has it already been achieved?
“Property investors should begin thinking about their exit strategy before buying any property,” says proprietor of Belvoir Falkirk Mike Campbell. “Looking before you leap and buy cheap pay dear are two old adages that are quite apposite. What I mean is properties are often cheap because they have no sell-on value, even upgraded and turned over.
“Location remains key as ever. In an ideal world there would be some competition when it comes to buying a property, but not too much of course! Looking for the worst property in the best area is probably the best way to future-proof being able to sell on and as an exit strategy.
“Also during your time as a landlord it’s wise not to get too attached to a property. And, don’t hold on to it for longer than your initial plan because a family member might want to move in – more often than not they never do.”
In what ways can a property management agent help me?
Many landlords benefit from the services of a property management agent. An invaluable source of information and advice, a property management agent will also help with the practical elements of setting up a successful buy-to-let venture, such as sourcing ‘good’ tenants, conducting inventories and organising viewings.
“A property management agent can help landlords secure and reference a reliable tenant and achieve the maximum rent for their property, while ensuring they comply with all current legislation,” says proprietor of Belvoir Luton Adrian Mason.
“If the agent is taken on on a full-management basis, the agent will also collect the rent and deal with the tenants on a day-to-day basis, plus manage and resolve any issues during the period of the tenancy.”
Belvoir Lettings now have more than 140 offices nationwide. To find your nearest Belvoir office, visit their website at www.belvoirlettings.com