With more people renting than in previous generations, buy-to-let can be extremely lucrative, but only if you avoid some major pitfalls.
Your property is only making you money on rent if there are tenants living in it. Landlords still have to cover their mortgage regardless of whether they are receiving rental income, so aim to avoid void periods, which is the length of time between rental property tenancies, by ensuring that you have happy tenants as they are likely to stay longer.
Here are some top tips from landlord insurance provider Direct Line for Business for landlords wanting to keep their tenants:
+ Be fair: The rental market is always shifting, so it is worth keeping an eye on how competitive your rent is compared to the local market. The cost of rent is one of the biggest factors when it comes to influencing renters so making sure your tenants feel like they are paying a fair price will go a long way to ensuring they don’t look elsewhere
+ Be flexible: Assuming that you trust your current tenants in the property, it is always worth being flexible on certain elements of the rental contract. It is important for occupants to make their house feel like a home, so if this involves decorating or minor DIY – or even getting a pet – it is worth being open to requests and discussing them with tenants to make sure everyone stays happy
+ Be approachable: As a landlord, it is your responsibility to keep the property in decent condition for your occupants, and it is important for tenants to feel that they can reach you when they need to. By maintaining contact and being approachable, this could easily prevent small problems becoming big problems
+ Be helpful: As well as responding to requests, it can be hugely beneficial in the long run to make the first move – especially when a tenant moves in. Furthermore, if you know that for example a washing machine is getting old, it will only improve your relationship with your tenants if you replace it before it breaks down. This can also make your life a lot easier!