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The DO's and DON'Ts of the buy to let market

The DO's and DON'Ts of the buy to let market

 

Are you considering entering the buy to let market? Then read on.

 

Since the introduction of Short Assured Tenancies by the Housing Act 1988, the buy to let market has grown rapidly and rights have swung markedly in favor of the landlord and mortgage lenders have been more willing to provide finance. Aberdeen has a thriving leasing market and is currently suffering from lack of available properties especially one bed properties. So now could be a good time to enter the market if you are in the position to do so.

 

This list of do’s and don’ts aim to provide you with guidelines of what you should expect of the buy to let market. Hopefully it will be a valuable checklist for you to follow.

 

DO

Think of buying to let as a medium to long term investment.

 

DO

Seek advice from an ARLA letting agent on local market demands. Martin & Co are the only ARLA and NALS recognised leasing agents in Aberdeen at the moment.

 

DO

Get your sums right. Will the rent cover borrowings and costs, after allowing for void periods? It is important to think about void periods seriously and the time of year you are trying to lease your property. The summer months in Aberdeen are particularly busy as the influx of students seeking properties begins. Therefore having your property ready to let at this time will ensure a fast lettings time.

 

DO

Decorate, fit out and furnish to a high quality, especially kitchens and bathrooms, to attract the best tenants and let quickly every time. Also hard wearing flooring is better as it won’t need replaced after a couple of years. Remember though it may seem boring, neutrally decorated properties are more attractive in the rental market.

 

DO

Use an ARLA member as your letting agent. They have Client Money Protection, hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to required standards, have staff trained to ARLA's competency standards and are kept up to date with the latest legal and regulatory requirements. As mentioned before, Martin & Co team members are high trained to deal with any situation.

 

DON'T

Let personal taste cloud your judgment. Be sure the property you choose meets market requirements.  

 

DON'T

Purchase anything with potential maintenance problems like a lot of woodwork or large gardens. It will add nothing to the rental value and cost a lot to keep up. Though if you are going to allow pets, a garden could be considered a feature.

 

DON'T

Think that the running of an investment property to let can be left to friends or relatives in your absence. You never know when something might happen. Tenants require a full management service.

 

DON'T

Use off-the-shelf tenancy agreements, or forget to issue the right notices or fail to have a proper inventory and condition report made before a tenant moves in. Leave all documentation to a professional agent.

 

DON'T

Furnish with second hand furniture or cast-off soft furnishings. These will probably contravene the Furniture and Furnishing Regulations. However do remember that you can sometimes get some nice, nearly brand new furniture off websites like gumtree.

 

DON’T 

Forget to register your tenant’s deposit with a deposit scheme. This is now a legal requirement and you may be hit with a hefty fine if you don’t comply.

 

DON'T
Forget that here at Martin & Co Aberdeen, we are currently offering 50% off all fully managed service fees for an entire year.

 

Whether you are a landlord already or even if you are just considering it, don't hesitate to get in touch with our branch by calling 01224 636500 or e-mail our branch manager James Taylor on james.taylor@martinco.com