How to Choose your Buy to Let Property

Published: 14/09/2017

If you decide to invest in a buy to let property you might be overwhelmed by the number of properties on the market. Here are a few tips to make sure you pick the right property.

The Area
It is much easier to let a property if it is in an area with good transport connections. If you want to attract young families, then choose somewhere near to schools with easy access to local shops. If you want to let to students then you need to pick areas close to a university or college. Try and look out for a property in an up and coming area because properties might still be cheaper but will rise in the future and attract young professionals to the area.

The Property
This depends on your budget. If you have the money to do up a property then you may well be able to get a bargain and buy an older property that needs some work. If you prefer the property to be low maintenance a new build might be a better option.

If you want to buy a flat rather than a house, consider the fact that purpose built properties are more likely to have a community charge to pay for communal decorating, a lift, garage space or a garden.
Think about the kind of tenants you want to attract. For example, if you are hoping to let your property to a young family then you should make sure a flat above the first floor has a lift or a basement hasn’t got too many stairs. This is because someone with shopping and a buggy won’t want to rent a property that’s a struggle when they want to get in or out of their home.

Does the property have a patio or a garden? As long as the outside space isn’t difficult to maintain this could be something that puts your rental property ahead of other similar rentals who don’t have anywhere for a child to play, a space to put out the washing or somewhere to put a table and chairs and a barbecue.

The Rental Value
If you are getting a mortgage to buy your home then most lenders will want assurances that the rental is at least 25% more than the cost of the mortgage. If your mortgage is £750 then you will need to be able to charge a minimum of  £1000 rent. Look around at the rentals in the areas you want to invest in and make sure that you can ask what you will need for the mortgage.

Don’t forget that you will at some point have maintenance charges. This might be decorating, a new carpet, or something expensive like a new boiler. You need to make sure the rent will cover the mortgage, any insurance payments, community charges and a fund for maintenance.

Ask your estate agent for advice about properties. They will know the areas well and can advise you about transport, schools and universities and also give you some idea how sought after rental properties are in a particular place.