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Our guide to buying your first buy-to-let

August 12th 2016
By: Melanie
Our guide to buying your first buy-to-let

Finding the right property is key to your success if you are thinking of purchasing a buy-to-let. It is essential that your potential investment is priced correctly, in an area with high rental demand, is low-maintenance as well as offering a good potential annual return. One way to ensure your success is to use good ARLA local letting’s agent such as Intercounty, as they will be able to guide you through all of the pitfalls of purchasing a buy-to-let.  

Once you have found the right property you will then need to take the following aspects into consideration:

1. What rent can I charge? Take a look at the local rental market place to see what other landlords are demanding, or ask a local agent such as Intercounty.

2. Make sure that your property meets health and safety regulations.

3. Finding the right tenant - this is crucial to your lettings success. First of all make sure your property looks at its best for viewings, including the garden. The best way to ensure peace of mind is to use an ARLA registered lettings agent such as Intercounty as they will make rigorous tests to ensure that your potential tenant has been fully referenced and credit checked.

4. Make sure your property is fully insured, make sure you tell your insurer that you intend to rent out your property. You might also want to discuss the possibility of insuring against non-payment of rent. Intercounty provides rental property insurance and rent protection insurance.

5. Make sure you make an inventory before tenants move in – if you are using an agent such as Intercounty they will do this for you as part of their service.

6. Use a rental deposit scheme – you are now legally required to put your tenant’s deposit in a Government protected scheme. At Intercounty we register deposits with a scheme “My Deposits” which benefits both tenants and landlords. Once you have done this you will then need to collect rent, deciding whether to do this yourself or through an agent such as Intercounty.

7. Property Inspections – throughout the tenancy it's a good idea to arrange a visit to see your tenants every 3-4 months to check to see if your tenants need any repairs or maintenance doing and to make sure that your property is being well taken care of.

8. Renew the rental contract – if you are renting a property out for the first time you will be surprised at how quickly the initial contract passes. As it comes to its end you will need to decide whether you would like to terminate or renew your contract. If you do decide to terminate the contract you will need to give the appropriate notice to your tenants.

9. Extending the tenancy – as this comes to an end and it’s time for your tenant to move out you will need to revisit the inventory, settling any disputes and return the property. Make sure that you do any maintenance work including maintenance to smoke and carbon dioxide alarms before remarketing. Then start again at number 5.

Intercounty Saffron Walden has this 2 bedroom flat for sale for offers of £175,000 with a rental potential of £750 pcm. If you would like to find out more information about this property or would like to arrange a viewing why not call Intercounty Saffron Walden on: 01799 52264.

If you would like any more help and advice on buying a property for the first time perhaps you are looking at buy to let as a full time business or topping a retirement fund or income then why not pop into your local branch of Intercounty for a coffee and a chat or call our lettings team on 01279 655248.