There are plenty of ways to make some money with a property. You may want to consider renovating older property and modernising to make a quick profit. You may like to move up the ladder with your property and invest in bigger each time. However, the most popular way investors capitalise on the property market is renting them out to people that just can’t afford to get on the ladder, or need to be in locations only temporarily.
However, while there are plenty of properties out there ready to be purchased that are more than suitable for the rental market, there are still a few guidelines that you need to follow. So whether or not this is your first attempt at buying to rent, or you have a whole portfolio of properties, I thought I would share with you some of the do’s and the don’ts of renting out a property.
Don’t be too hasty with your decisions and forget the power of research
There will always be a lot of properties out there that you may want to consider investing in, but we can get a little hasty and excited by the prospect and forget to do the valuable research that should go along any property purchase. While there will always be a demand for affordable houses for rent, you will still need to make sure that your investment is going to stack up in the long-term. Think about the location you are buying in. Whether there are any improvement schemes or upcoming regeneration to the area. Think about what the prices are in the area, is their scope to expand your investment or make more profit in the future. Will you need to make any improvements to the property before you rent it out? Is it a livable space? These are all questions and observations you can make with extensive research online, which will enable you to make sure that the important decision you are about to make is the right one.
Do choose the right rental market for you
You may be surprised to read that there are a number of different rental markets to consider when buying a property. You could consider buying near universities or colleges where you can rent out to students for each school year. This can be quite lucrative as a house can be adapted to accommodate more than one student. Helping you to increase your rental profits. You could also think about the area being close to the city center, or being in a family suburban location where you focus more on renting to families.
Don’t be tempted to overcharge on the rent
Determining the rental cost can be quite tricky, and it might be tempting to charge what you think the property is worth. But this could cause you more problems by pricing your property out of the market. Instead, you will need to focus on the area and the average cost. An agent could be in the best place to advise you on how much to charge.
Do consider other costs that you may need to budget for
Of course, you have the initial outlay of the investment, but other things to consider would be the insurances involved to protect the property. You also need to think about the legal costs involved, and whether you have any other insurances that help to protect you for things like when renters don’t pay their rental payment. You also need to have some sort of emergency fund set aside for when things go wrong. You may find that things go wrong over the time of the rental period, or you may have to make emergency or standard repairs the longer you own the property.
Don’t forget to read the fine print
On all things property related, there are deeds and regulations. It might be to do with the property or it could be specific to the area. Make sure in all cases you read the fine print to avoid any possible drama or financial implication in the future. However, the research only just gets started with the purchase, as a landlord there are other things to consider. You need to ensure that you have the right contracts drawn up between you and your tenant. Or of you have an agent acting on your behalf, that you ensure that the contract you draw up is in your interests as well as the agents.
Do be open-minded with your choice of tenants
There are many schemes in which a tenant can take on a property. People can get help from government schemes as well as benefits to help them pay for their rent. Some landlords refuse to take any type of tenant other than a private renter, but this could be closing your market in regards to obtaining someone to rent in your property long-term. In some ways, someone receiving a benefit of some kind means that they may always be able to pay the rent. So you have to ask yourself whether it is worth being open-minded to different types of tenant circumstances.
Don’t be tempted to manage it yourself unless you are confident to do so
Managing a property rental yourself means that you are in the position of ensuring al checks are carried out on the tenant, and that you get your rent each month. You will be the contact they ring at any time of the day or night when something goes wrong. So it’s important to make sure you only do this is you are confident in managing the property. For a small fee, an agent can take care of all the hard work for you.
Do inspect or have the property inspected regularly
Unfortunately you can’t always trust your tenant. No matter how good you think they are. You are allowing them to stay in your property for a fee, and you need to ensure that they are treating it with the respect it deserves. So try and consider having it inspected regularly to ensure that the property is in good condition, and that any repair work isn’t needed. It isn’t always about not trusting the tenant, but more about protecting your asset.
Don’t be afraid to place restrictions in the terms of rental
Many landlords consider having hefty terms that a tenant needs to agree to before a contract and lease can be signed. It may be very specific about painting walls or having pets, or it could be more lenient whereas you require permission before anything is done in the property. There have been landlords that have been so specific even about hanging pictures on the walls with nails. After all, it is your property and investment, and you can decide how it is treated. Having this in the lease protects you in the future, if you find that any of your regulations have been ignored.
Finally, having a decent agreement in place and black and white guidelines laid out should mean that you as a landlord should have no issues when renting out to somebody. What this sort of investment does, is enable you to have your money tied up and earning a profit in the bricks and mortar, but also enables you to earn a profit on a month by month basis. Anything over and above a mortgage commitment should be put to one side so that any property expenses can be paid for out of the pot. I hope this helps you to be more clear about what you should and shouldn’t do when renting out a property.
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