Make the Right Choices as a Landlord and Make More Money
27th September 2011
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Rental properties are in high demand in the current market, but even in this market, if you make the wrong decisions you could easy spend your money on the wrong investments.

1. Ask an Agent

Before buying a buy-to-let property, make sure you talk to a letting agent about what properties rent best in what areas.  Agents will be aware of the most popular roads and developments, sought after school catchment areas and transport links.  A good agent will give you an idea of  what sort of rent you can expect for a certain property.

Feel free to take advantage of Northfields award winning experience by calling our lettings team on 0208 567 6660.

2. Get the Best Mortgage Deal

Use an independent mortgage broker who is not tied to a certain product or range of products.   Unlike mortgage advisors in high street banks for example, independent brokers can look across the entire market and find a mortgage that will suit your particular circumstances.  The experience of a good mortgage broker will also help you when applying because they can guide you to a lender who is more likely to approve someone in your situation, for example a lender who specializes in self-employed people or retired couples or siblings making a purchase together.  Independent brokers also have access to mortgage deals that are simply not available on the high street which could really save you money.

Call Northfields on 0208 840 6666 and we can refer you to an independent mortgage broker who can save you money.

3. Keep your eye on the stamp duty

Depending on the type of property you are buying, you may be able to buy a property in Ealing for under the £250,000 stamp duty level.  By simply keeping under the 3% stamp duty level you could save 2% of the purchase price.

4. Conveyancing Fees

The fees that conveyancing solicitors charge vary as much as the level of service.  However, don’t just use the solicitor with the cheapest fees as that can be false economy.  Some of the cheapest conveyancing solicitors are actually “teams” rather than single individuals that handle your property transactions.  This lack of personal service can be very frustrating, especially as many have a call centre that deals with enquiries. 

As estate agents we deal with different solicitors on a regular basis and know  solicitors who are affordable but still give top notch service.  Call Northfields on 0208 840 6666 today for a referral to a solicitor with whom we have had good experiences and are confident to recommend.

5. Comparison Shop Insurance

Keep in mind that contents and buildings insurance on houses is generally more expensive than insurance for flats, as block management enables the negotiation of a better deal. The other type of insurance to look at is rental guarantee insurance.  Just like when you shop for car insurance, get multiple quotes to ensure you have the best deal.

6. To Renovate, or Not to Renovate?

A letting agent with plenty of experience will be able to tell you what decorating or updating a property will actually need, saving you time and money on unnecessary work.

Most agents will advise painting a property in neutral colours so that the tenant can put their own belongings into the property and can imagine themselves living there easily. 

An agent can also advise on whether you should offer the property furnished or unfurnished.  The level of furnishing will depend on the type of property and tenant that you are trying to attract.  Read this article for more information on whether to advertise a property furnished or unfurnished.

7. Use a Letting Agent

Of course, Northfields is a letting agent, so you would expect us to advise using an agent.  Given that particular bias, we often find that we are able to save landlords money even after our fees are paid.  An award winning lettings agent like Northfields will be able to minimize the time when your property is vacant by professionally marketing your property; thereby ensuring that you have money coming in.   Professional marketing also tends to lead to more competition between tenants so you are more likely to get the rent you want and you can pick the most desirable tenant.  With professional tenant referencing you are also less likely to get a bad tenant who falls into arrears with their rent.  Even so, landlords are advised to maintain a contingency fund of two month’s mortgage payments to help guard against any unforeseen circumstances or necessary repairs.

For more advice buying an investment property or for help finding a tenant call our award winning lettings team on 0208 567 6660 or e-mail

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