Buy-to-let: The pros and cons of investing in older properties

Buy-to-let: The pros and cons of investing in older properties
Last month we wrote about how landlords should consider purchasing new-build homes to bolster their buy-to-let portfolios.

New-builds are springing up across Camberley and with many hopeful buyers remaining priced out of the market, there are opportunities for investors to tread the new-build path.

But that doesn't mean you should rule out older, or period properties, when looking to invest in a buy-to-let home.

So, what are the pros and cons of buying an older buy-to-let property? Martin & Co Camberley has the answers...


There is a school of thought that older homes are of better construction compared with new-build properties. Certainly, they have been standing for far longer.

Some renters are put off by new-build lettings because they see them as 'lacking in personality'. These kind of tenants are attracted to period features like Victorian fireplaces, sash windows, high ceilings and wooden beams.

Although many buy-to-lets are simply about achieving a solid rental yield, older homes can provide landlords with a greater opportunity to achieve good capital growth.

There is more scope for adding value to older properties through renovation, too, while older homes can often make good, high-yielding Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) due to their space or the ability to add it.

Remember, though, HMOs come under licensing regulations so always check what you are obligated to do before committing to a big renovation.



New-builds usually come with structural guarantees, meaning peace of mind for the purchasing landlord.

Older properties, meanwhile, can sometimes have 'hidden nightmares' such as wiring issues, structural problems or poor roof conditions. This is simply due to their age, although sometimes poor maintenance is to blame.

Before buying an older property, it pays to check it over thoroughly, which can mean added time and expense on things like full structural surveys and gas and boiler checks.

Wear and tear inside older homes can also mean more expense for landlords, who need to get such a property up to scratch and reading for letting.

While undertaking repairs can be an opportunity to add value, it can also mean a period of time with no tenants and hence no rent.

Due to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), which came into force earlier in 2018, landlords purchasing older buy-to-let properties need to consider if they meet the E Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating required for private residential lettings.

If a property doesn't, landlords need to consider how much money would need to be spent bringing the home up to standard.



As with everything, deciding whether to invest in new or older properties is the landlord's decision.

Both have positive and negative reasons for buying or not buying and much will depend on the kind of area you are looking to buy in and the demographic of tenant you are looking to attract.

Martin & Co Camberley's lettings experts know the local market better than anyone. Get in touch with us today to explore your options...