Cross & Prior
Established Since 1910

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Landlords Advice

 

Letting your property effectively!

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Rental properties are a great investment, and one that not only can reward you consistently over a long period of time, but also carry certain responsibilities that go with being a landlord. Therefore, it is always wise to consider a strategy before embarking upon finding and keeping great tenants.

Whether you choose us to be your managing agent or decide to manage your property yourself, Cross & Prior has utilised years of experience to provide our landlords with expert advice on some simple things you can do to increase the demand for your property, ensuring an excellent return on your investment.

  Choose the right agent   Set realistic rents


  The amount of commitment and work involved in letting your
  property should never be underestimated, and using the
  services of a professional letting agent can be essential. As
  a good reputable agent is worth its weight in gold, can help
  guide you through the complexities of the process, take away
  the stresses and strains of being a landlord, most importantly
  they will always have your best interests at heart.

  There are several factors to consider when choosing the right
  letting agent such as reputation, professionalism, services or
  fees, but our best advice is to use an agent you know you can
  trust, and you will be comfortable working with them for the
  foreseeable future and beyond, building a long lasting trusting
  relationship. Always chose an agent who is an active member
  of a Redress Scheme such as ‘The Property Ombudsman’. 

  It is of high importance that fees should never be your main or
  only motivation as the best letting agent does not mean the
  lowest price and remember that agent fees are tax deductible.
  Thus, we strongly recommend that you pick an agent on the
  quality of service, considerable experience, extensive local
  knowledge, and the ability to deal with issues, maximise your
  income and enhance the long term value of your property.


  As a result of overwhelming demand for rental properties in
  many parts of the UK, particularly in London, some landlords
  may have unrealistically high expectation in what rent they
  can achieve. This can be a false economy as an unfeasible
  rent can lead to extended and costly void period between
  tenancies and affect your overall rental yields, hence setting
  the rent correctly is absolutely key.

  You need to be aware that some agents may be tempted to
  overvalue your property in order to obtain your instruction,
  but an over-priced property can often prove negative leading
  to a lower number of enquiries, and could potentially reduce
  your target market, no matter how well your property is
  presented, so it is essential you set an achievable rent from
  the start, to ensure you can secure suitable tenants quickly.

  You should also keep a relatively open mind about rent
  reviews and consider the whole picture before deciding on a
  rent increase. If you have a good quality tenant, who are
  paying the rent promptly and looking after your property, then
  driving them away, could cost you a lot more money in the
  long run - it is always preferable to have a tenant paying you
  rent than risk having your property remain empty.

 
  Present your property   Furnished or Unfurnished


  Successfully letting you property not only depends on location
  and price, but also on its presentation. A well presented
  property will not only result in finding a high quality and long
  term tenant quickly, increase your rental income and maximise
  the occupancy rate, but will more often than not encourage the
  tenant to care for it in the correct manner - remember, it is a
  small investment and the return always outweighs the cost.

  It is important to make the place inviting, comfortable and
  cosy, so your tenants can feel welcome and at home. In our
  experience, the safest way to deal with the style of your
  property is to keep the decoration neutral, light and modern.
  This means you do not have to constantly update to the
  current vogue but maintain a simple and timeless design, thus
  keep costs to a minimum and save you time and money.

  You should also consider redecorating the property at the end
  of each tenancy or every 2 - 3 years, to make sure it is always
  kept in immaculate condition. Alternatively, you can offer your
  tenants the option to paint the place during the tenancy, as
  this will allow them to add their own personal touch and not
  only will provide your property with an edge over others, but
  also enhance your chances of achieving the highest rent.

 
  Whether you let your property furnished or unfurnished, there
  is very little difference in the rent you could expect to achieve,
  but may have an impact on your target market so it is always
  advisable to ask the agent for their opinion. However, in most
  cases, we would recommend you are open to negotiation,
  remain flexible, try and look at the situation logically never
  turn away a good tenant if you can provide a couple of items. 

  Both approaches have their obvious pros and cons, furnishing
  your property will likely attract tenants quicker who can move
  in straight away, but your fixtures and fittings will be subject to
  normal wear and tear, and will need to be updated from time
  to time. Whereas, an unfurnished property may take a little
  longer to find a tenant but it will provide your tenants a sense
  of permanence that can lead to a happier and longer tenancy.

  If you decide to let your property furnished, you must ensure
  that all furnishings meet the legal safety standards, but be
  aware that you will be obliged to repair or replace any items
  that are damaged during the tenancy, unless caused by the
  tenants neglect. You will need to supply ‘white goods’ even if
  you intend to let unfurnished, and you will be responsible for
  the general maintenance of this throughout the tenancy.

 
  Keep up the maintenance   Buy to let investment


  Even if you are letting out a brand new property, you can, and
  should expect something at some stage to go wrong, so it is
  essential to always act upon any repairs or maintenance as
  soon as they are bought to your attention, and also it is in
  your financial interests to ensure the property is kept in good
  condition, it does not take long for a minor problem to turn into
  a major and more costly issue if left unattended over time. 

  You may want to consider taking out a service contract or
  extended warranties to cover the more temperamental
  appliances such as your boiler and washing machine. This
  would give you added piece of mind in knowing exactly how
  much you are paying out every month and will help avoid an
  expensive and unexpected repair bill. Remember that any 
  costs can be offset against your income from the property.

  Keeping up regular maintenance of your property will not only
  provide your tenants with a safe living environment as the
  statutory guidelines require, but it will also help to maintain the
  market value of your asset, ensuring you will always achieve a
  good rent and attract quality tenants, or if your circumstances
  change and you need to sell the property, you will be able to
  receive a maximum return on your investment.

 
  Buying a property to let is one of the most popular long term
  investments, due to the potential returns often being way
  above what you could receive from pensions or shares, and is
  also a great way to provide a secure future for you and your
  family. Whilst it will reward you with capital growth and rental
  yield, it is far from straightforward, so planning and research
  are imperative to the success of your buy to let venture.

  Whether you are a new or seasoned landlord it is fundamental
  to understand your target market, so you should consider the
  property type, right time to invest, as well as the location with
  factors including: school, transport links, regeneration plans,
  and employment initiatives - properties that are near hospitals
  or universities. If you are unsure of an area, our Area Guide
  will give you an insight and overview to help you decide.

  Over the longer term, you will need to think of the overall
  profitability of your investment – a decent rental property
  should provide an excellent yield with a minimum yield of 5%,
  however some properties may not offer a great yield, but the 
  potential of quick capital growth so a lower return should be
  considered. Thus, it is important to consider all options and 
  opt for a property that will work with your investment plans.

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