Happy New Year to you all, and what a happy year it could be, especially if you are considering investing in the Nuneaton property market! With all the ‘negatives’ being thrown out there over the past few months, I personally believe that investing in property for BTL is still a great way forward whether you are a first time investor or looking to build on your portfolio. There are objectives that Landlords often have, and I wanted to highlight them in this article and give my thoughts on how I and you too could overcome them…..
Q: Investment properties. Why bother?
A: Through all the years of investing and helping others to acquire investment properties, I rarely heard anyone say they had a burning desire to look after tenants. Why do they do it? These people all have one thing in common: clarity. They are clear about their goals and about what motivates them. They know that property is the best investment there is for building a secure and independent future. It’s simply a vehicle that gets them there faster, safer and… legally.
Q: Isn’t it a lot of work to look after a property?
A: Conventional wisdom says managing a property is hard. It’s too much work. It enslaves you. In my view, it’s actually the opposite. It does not enslave you: it will set you free. It is not nearly as much work as you may think. It all depends on your efficiency (just like any other aspect of your life – what some do in an hour, others take a week to do). This is why its so important to pick a letting agent who will deliver on all of your expectations and requirements. Ask for current landlord references, letting agents should be more than happy to do this to put your mind at rest that you are picking the right company to look after your investment!
Q: If it’s so obvious, why don’t more people do it? What is holding them back?
A: This question has puzzled me for years. I realised it’s all in the mindset. Nothing is more common in my business than hearing clients tell me: “I could’ve bought this one or that one last year and now look at it. Silly me. I missed the opportunity, I know I should’ve invested back then. It is too late now. I missed the boat now. It can’t possibly keep going up”. (I have to admit, I am not exempt from those inner dialogues: I never regretted what I bought, only what I could’ve and should’ve… but didn’t.). BTL opportunities are equal for everyone. It’s how people view their future, and financial freedom that separate those who achieve it from those who don’t. The scaremongering that is coming with all the government changes and implementations are part of life, after all nothing is ‘easy’, however like with anything if you can see past these ‘hurdles’ a future in bricks and mortar will be bright!
Here are the main objections I hear most often…
Tenants are a hassle:
That’s typical conventional thinking, In my view, it’s the exact opposite. I view my tenants as my friends, my teammates, my best clients. Why? Because they are paying off the debt I have taken on to buy an asset that is appreciating in my name. What other investment do you know allow you to borrow to buy an appreciating asset and have someone else pay it off? I respect my tenants, I am grateful to my tenants. I work to this way of thinking with my letting agency also, making sure both tenants and landlords know that they are not just a number, they are my reason for doing what I do, and from this positive outcomes are the only outcomes!
Repairs are expensive:
Keeping on top of repair and maintenance issues as and when they crop up instead of ignoring them for months until they become so bad that they do cost more than that £60 pipe replacement you could have initially paid out for! Again, using a letting agency to fully manage your property knowing that they will carry out the work as soon as it has either been reported by the tenant or picked up on on the regular inspections that you as a landlord should expect your letting agent to carry out. With my letting agency I have a selection of local workmen for various aspects of work, who I have collated over the years and kept on our books due to their competency, efficiency and price!
What if the tenant stops paying the rent or I have a void period?
So many people fear this and, rightly so. Both of the above are frustrating and can cause a lot of anxiety and stress for landlords. My advice is be prepared! Letting Agents usually offer rent guarantee for the duration of the tenancy. It costs money but, trust me, it could save you thousands. If you don’t have a Letting agent then you should have Landlord insurance. Check the policy to see what is and isn’t covered.
As soon as a tenant gives their notice (usually 1 month) or you given them their notice (2 months), get the property advertised straight away. Any good Letting Agent will do the same. This ensures that there is someone in place to take over the tenancy and means that you don’t have to shell out for a mortgage payment.
I would also recommend, if possible, that you try and accumulate a ‘kitty’ of sorts which covers you in the even of a void period. You’ll be glad of it when the time comes.
These issues can be overcome if you are prepared!
If these are objectives that you face, please feel free to pop in and see us and we can talk you through what we do, in order to make the whole process as stress free for you when it comes to renting out your property… I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised!