December always seems like a month full of countdowns and so now we are in January, instead of another countdown, the team here at Stirling Ackroyd thought we’d make something else you’ll be only too pleased to count; our top letting tips for 2020.
Helping landlords everywhere
Statistics show that there are 2,266,770 landlords currently operating in England. At some stage, most of these people would have decided that property is a long-term investment, acquired a second home and begun the process of letting it out as a full-time or part-time professional landlord.
Others find themselves becoming accidental landlords. This could be when a temporary job relocation happens and the family home needs to be let for a period of time, or when an inheritance results in a property becoming available to hold as an investment.
Whichever way you became a landlord, it’s always nice to have a helping hand and if you’re considering letting a property in 2020 or possibly even expanding your portfolio, we think these top tips will serve as great advice.
Location, location, location
If you’re considering property letting as an investment, it’s always a good idea to assess locations that are most popular with renters. The Stirling Ackroyd House Price Index and Rental Price Index provide excellent up-to-date data on which areas across Central and East London are most sought-after as well as all the latest property transaction numbers and averages in our core areas.
Tenants are often attracted to locations with good communications for commuting, if a property is walking distance to a tube, railway station or well-connected on a bus route, that is always a plus. Likewise, in university towns, students can provide a steady stream of potential tenants and any form of accommodation near to their faculty should always let well.
The RAC estimates that 81% of households in the UK are car-owners so on-site parking is becoming increasingly popular with potential tenants searching for a home. Keeping your car on private land instead of on a road also affects insurance prices, so properties with a driveway will be in high demand.
Obviously, popping out for a pint of milk just before the shops close is a common occurrence, so if there are amenities nearby providing the essentials, tenants will also see that as a positive.
Let the experts help with compliance
Adhering to the UK’s strict compliance laws when letting a property is time-consuming but extremely important. Legislation is constantly changing, and mistakes can be easy to make.
Stirling Ackroyd are experts in staying on top of the ever-evolving compliance regulations, and by choosing to be a landlord with our Fully Managed Plus service, you’ll not have to worry about fines or penalties ever again. Put simply, we’ll take care of everything.
Check-In, Check-Up, Check-Out
Carrying out property inventories when the tenant moves in and when the tenant moves out is standard procedure. This way, the landlord can monitor the condition of the property and the contents within and if anything has been damaged or broken over the course of the tenancy. Having an official document is a safeguard for both parties and the best way to avoid arguments about the deposit at the exit.
At Stirling Ackroyd, our top tip for 2020 is to begin the new year with an inventory to mark the halfway point and to check-up and ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible. This will further protect you when it’s time to carry out the Check-Out as you’ll be able to legally mark any changes over a six-month period as well as what wear and tear has happened since the Check-In.*
Contact us now for a full inventory Check-Up in January and let the professionals keep an eye on your prize asset for you.
Know the market
We recommend doing some research on the market in the local area. Again, our House Price Index and Rental Price Index can help you to find out how much other properties near yours are being let for per month. Set the rent too high and any prospective tenants will be deterred but set it too low and you’ll lose rental income that other landlords in the area can earn.
The aim of doing this research is to make sure you attract the right tenants and avoid any costly void periods.
Consider the tenant – not yourself
Lastly, always remember that buying an investment property that you plan to let is not the same as buying a home.
The criteria for buying a property to let are considerably different from those you might apply if buying a place to live yourself.
For example, for your own property you might have very personal tastes in specific decor or you may focus only on somewhere with a big garden. Many tenants will prefer a property with neutral decoration and a small garden that won’t take much maintenance. An investment in rental property should be ruled by the head rather than the heart and be treated as an unemotional business decision.
Stirling Ackroyd – the best choice for you
If 2020 is the year you feel that you may delve into property letting, Stirling Ackroyd really is the best choice for you.
We work in conjunction with dot Financial Services who are Buy-to-Let mortgage experts working in the same core areas as us across Central and East London and can offer the best mortgage advice available.
Contact Stirling Ackroyd today for a free valuation of your house with no obligation attached to take it any further. One of our fully qualified property professionals will come round and offer you an in-depth appraisal of your home and the next steps to take if you’re considering searching for potential tenants.
Choosing to be a Fully Managed Plus landlord with the Stirling Ackroyd team is the best option for you as a landlord. We’ll make the new year your best year!
*A half way point inventory is available free of charge as part of the Fully Manged Plus service. If you are not a Fully Managed Plus landlord you can still take advantage of this service for a charge of £66 inc. VAT.