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Buy To Let - Do Your Homework!

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Last Updated: 02/02/2016  
Author: Eden Estates    Tags: Buy To Let, Money News, Landlords, Property News

The range of products aimed specifically at the buy-to-let market at the moment is looking particularly positive with a number of new offers being launched in response to this renewed strength.  Typically, if you’re able to put down a deposit of at least 25% you’ll expect to get the best rates and some of these right now are very, very low.

Overall, it feels like a very positive time to become a landlord.  Average rates of growth over the short to medium term are anticipated to be somewhere between 3 and 5% according to Halifax, and could go further in a city such as Oxford, Bristol or some area of London; there is a growing number of tenants looking to rent properties; and the stock market continues to feel an uncertain bet for sound investment.

But whilst there are many positive aspects of becoming a buy to let investor at this time, caution should still be employed.

Simply, do not proceed with viewing properties until you have met with your local Andrews expert so that you clearly understand the types of property being sought by tenants in your area.  Also, ensure that you’ve got a clear view of how the financial side of such an investment will stack up and preferably have your finances in place ready to proceed once you have found your ideal property.

Finally, you should also be aware of how recent legislative changes could impact on your investment.

The Queen’s Speech last month outlined a move to shift responsibility to landlords and lettings agents for checking the immigration status of any prospective tenant to ensure that they have the ‘Right to Rent’.  This will entail identity checks and a credit check alone simply won’t do. Of course, a letting agent such as Andrews can conduct this on your behalf, but don’t assume that they will as this could leave you exposed to a costly fine of up to £3000.

Looking ahead meanwhile, from October 2015 all landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their rented properties.  You must ensure that there is at least one smoke alarm per floor, as well as Carbon Monoxide alarms present in any rooms containing a solid fuel burning appliance - failure to do so could result in a penalty of £5000.

So whilst the buy to let market is looking very positive for property investors at this moment in time, we’d always urge you to do your homework to save incurring any costly fines.