Buying to Let Service

Handles Property are Sales and Lettings experts and we will happily guide you through the buying process offering sound advice every step of the way. We have many happy Landlords that trust us to look after their properties.

If you are looking to invest in a buy to let property we can advise on the likely demand in the areas you are looking in and give you a realistic idea of the potential rental income.

When you find a property you are considering making an offer on and you are considering using our Managed Letting Service we can visit the property with you to offer on the spot advice.

Buying to Let Guide

At first glance buying property to rent out can appear to be very attractive and is a very popular investment in today’s economic climate. With historically low interest rates the return on your money can be much better than traditional savings’ accounts and bonds. The long term potential for capital appreciation of your buy to let property can also be very attractive.

Buying to Let is not always plain sailing though and there are a number of factors to consider before parting with your hard earned money. The cost of buying property to Let has risen dramatically in recent times with mortgage lending criteria being tougher than ever and the increase in Stamp Duty for second homes.

There are many things to consider such as:

Freehold or Leasehold? - Flats can look attractive on paper as compared to similar sized freehold houses they are generally cheaper to buy but as the owner you will be responsible for paying any service/maintenance charge and ground rent that comes with the flat. It is also very important to check how many years are unexpired on the lease. Generally speaking if there is than 75 years remaining it may prove difficult to get a mortgage and very difficult when you look to sell the flat in the future. Leases can be extended but quite often this can be a very expensive exercise running into thousands of pounds. On the positive side if the flat has a long lease and is in a well managed block there is peace of mind that maintenance issues are taken care of normally within the service charge along with the buildings insurance. With a freehold house you as the landlord will be responsible for all maintenance issues.

Wear and Tear - Even the best tenants do not tend to look after the properties as well as the owners so it is wise to budget for redecoration and similar every few years. If a tenant damages the property or doesn’t report an issue that later causes a serious problem they will lose some or all of their deposit, it may not cover the full cost though. As rents are historically very high, quite rightly tenants want good quality accommodation, so it is very important to keep on top of maintenance. As part of our managed service at Handles Property we regularly inspect our properties to ensure any issues are dealt with before they become worse.

Void Periods – Our standard tenancy contracts have a two month notice period which is normally a comfortable length of time to have new tenants ready to move into the property when the previous tenants vacate. Like most things, if the price is too high it will not sell. This is exactly the same with rental prices. Tenants will not pay over the going rate and it is much better having a tenant in the property providing a rental income rather than the property costing you each week it is empty.

Do your homework - Work out your budget and stick to it. You are buying a property as an investment not because you like it and it is important to look at is as business. Ask yourself questions like what the demand is like for the area you are looking in? What is a realistic rent? What other costs do I need to take into account? Can I afford the property if it is vacant for 2 – 3 months? Will it be difficult to sell on at a later date?

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – If you are selling a property or letting one out, by law the property must have a valid EPC (normally one less than 10 years old). However for rental properties the minimum rating the property must be is Band F. From 1st April 2018 the minimum rating will be Band E. If you let out a property with a lower band you could end up with a £4,000 fine. It is therefore important to check the EPC rating when buying an investment property and if it has a poor rating work out how much it is going to cost to get to an acceptable rating.

Handles Property are Sales and Lettings experts and we will happily guide you through the buying process offering sound advice every step of the way. We have many happy Landlords that trust us to look after their properties.