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Advising on Buy-To-Let

With rental prices on the rise, many people will be thinking about purchasing a property with the intention of letting it out through an agency. But when advising people – especially first time landlords – on buying a property to rent out, what should you make sure they know? Here are some of the top pitfalls of landlords and how you can help them avoid them:

1. Picking the wrong area
Getting a property in the right area is key – expert local market knowledge can make the difference between a property that gets let within a few days and one that sits empty for ages. If the landlord is looking to let to students then is it close to universities? For families is it near a good school?

2. Ignoring legislation
There are lots of legislation out there around letting – long gone are the days of just needing a gas safety certificate. With experience in letting properties you are in a much better position than the landlord to know all the legal requirements, use this knowledge and you will provide a valuable service. By utilising a reliable lettings and property management software solution, this provides further reassurance to the landlord that they will be compliant with any changes in legislation.

3. Over decorating
Many people have a picture in their head of miss-matching carpets, furniture, etc. in rental properties. This simply isn’t the case anymore. People are renting for longer and want to have somewhere they call home. Keep it simple, people will have their own flourishes to make it feel like their home, so make sure your landlords just provide a blank canvas.

4. Not making a thorough inventory
Lots of landlords make overly simplified inventories so have no recourse at the end of a tenancy – if it says ’6 dinner plates’ at the start then so long as there’s six at the end there’s no problem; unless of course it was a matching set and now are multi-coloured. Making detailed inventories for clients can really help at the end of tenancy.

5. Difficult tenants
When marketing properties themselves landlords can end up with difficult tenants. Offering a service which vets potential tenants can really ensure that the people you are letting in to a property will respect it and pay their rent on time. Taking this off your landlords’ hands can make a huge difference to them and most will be willing to pay for it.

With rents rising faster than inflation and more and more people getting involved in buy-to-let property there is real scope to grow your landlord base. Providing the extra service that takes away pressure or pain from them is the secret to growing your relationship with a landlord, and with more and more of them out there it can make a huge difference to your business.

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