Updated: 13 January 2020
Renting in the private sector has in recent years grown significantly and although we are seeing a resurgence of first time buyers we believe that tenant demand will remain high for many years to come.
In our view and despite recent changes in stamp duty and personal tax relief we believe Buy to Let remains a strong and viable investment, particularly when compared to returns on annuities at retirement age.
When considering your first Buy to Let purchase we would recommend careful consideration is given to a number of factors. The yield, is clearly important and the higher the yield the better the investment. In current market conditions we would suggest most investors across our region aim to achieve a gross yield within the range of 4% to 5%. The type and size of property should also be considered in conjunction with the type of tenants you would like to attract. Smaller properties tend to attract greater yields but be aware that 1 bedroom flats are likely to attract younger tenants whose circumstances may change more frequently, consequently these tenancies are often shorter and therefore the potential of void periods may be greater. Conversely 3 or 4 bedroom properties are likely to attract families who remain in occupancy longer however such properties are more expensive and this may affect the yield.
With leasehold property you will generally not need to consider undertaking external maintenance yourself, however you will need to bear the cost of ground rent and maintenance charges. Conversely the purchase of a freehold property will provide you with the responsibilities of undertaking external and internal maintenance. With this in mind properties of modern construction, particularly those with upvc windows and facias etc would be more economical to maintain.
A further and important point for consideration is the location of the property. When buying a home for our own occupation we may choose a property with a larger garden or within a quieter suburban location, however, many tenants are attracted to properties by the convenience of the location and the standard of presentation.
Key features that appeal to tenants
- Allocated parking.
- Low maintenance gardens.
- The availabilty of a shower.
- Modern and efficient heating systems.
- Transport links.
- Proximity to areas of employment.
Below are some points for your further consideration
- Void periods – Or empty periods. This is the period prior to or between tenancies when the property is empty and therefore no rental is received.
- Agency fees – Subject to the service level, this may be a one off tenant find fee or ongoing management fees.
- Ground rent – Leasehold properties will be subject to ground rent and maintenance charges that are the landlord’s responsibility.
- Insurance – Landlords are responsible for insuring the buildings and their contents together with public liability.
- Wear and Tear – It is advisable to allow for 10% of the rent each year to replace worn out fixtures and fittings such as carpets and also to cover the cost of re-decoration every few years.
If you would like further information about buying to let, please contact your local office or Kate West