Being a landlord isn’t easy. There can be some great highs to the job but some real lows too. Landlords are often hit with unnecessary and avoidable costs. It doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve put together a few insightful tips to help you save money and keep costs down.
This is critical to landlords. In this line of work, there’ll be many important choices to make. If you make the right decision, you’ll keep costs down. If your judgement isn’t spot on, you could face financial burden. The two most important decisions to make concern your property and your tenant.
If you haven’t bought your property yet, consider the location carefully. Do as much research as you can. A few metres in the right direction and you’ll be quids-in! Think about amenities too. Where’s the local school? How far is the nearest supermarket? Put yourself in the shoes of the prospective tenant and ask the questions they would.
Now think about the tenant. You should only take on great tenants. This sounds simple but the reality is quite the opposite. As a landlord you never fully know who you’re dealing with. It doesn’t matter where you find your tenants, there’s always a risk. Ideally your tenant will pay on time, be respectful and keep the property in good shape. Be sure to properly check and reference your tenants. Keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour or circumstances.
Don’t be tempted to take the easy option. Shop around and find the right agency for you. Do you need property management services? Think about this carefully. Some landlords prefer the agent to deal with everything whereas others just use them to find new tenants. Alternatively, you could opt to do it all yourself. This option is growing in popularity. If you choose this, make sure you understand the correct procedures for tenant referencing.
Alike your agency, shop around for insurance. Ensure you know what each plan covers as well as what you’ll pay. Never let your building insurance run out. If there’s a fire or incident and your property’s uninhabitable, you may still be liable to pay the mortgage. Consider taking out a Landlord Rent Guarantee insurance too. This is especially important if dealing with new tenants. This policy is relatively cheap and will safeguard your rent if a tenant falls into arrears.
As a landlord, you should avoid lengthy void periods at all costs. These pose a serious financial risk and could lead to a few sleepless nights. If you find yourself approaching a void period, think about how you’re marketing the property. Consider the price of rent, its visibility online, how it’s presented and your availability for viewings.
So you need some maintenance done? When bringing in tradespeople, it’s important to think about costs as well as reviews. Don’t go for the first you find and don’t necessarily go for the cheapest. You need the job to be done properly, as well as cheaply. If you’re considering a DIY fix, make sure you do a good job. You don’t want to be revisiting the same issue again in a few months. Sometimes the cost of bringing in a tradesperson is better than the time expenditure of doing it yourself.
Furnishing your property is a great way of adding value. Check out all options for this. Sometimes bulk buying furniture from retailers will get you a better deal. Why not look for second hand options? This can add a unique character to your property but also save you money. Take a look at auctions as well as sites like Freecycle, Gumtree, Ebay and Amazon.
A landlord’s main expense is their mortgage. It’s good practice to regularly review this and ensure you’re getting the best deal. This can mean saving money immediately. Search around and see if there’s a better deal out there. If you’ve got extra money hanging around, consider making an additional payment on your mortgage. This can seriously lower your interest rates.
It’s said that a good accountant will save you more than their fee. For a landlord, hiring an accountant should be a serious consideration. There are plenty of legal tax exemptions and breaks that you could qualify for. Speak to an accountant, see how they can help. Ask them about the possibility of off-setting your expenses against your tax bill.
Your property is your livelihood. As a landlord you have the right to deduct money from a tenant’s deposit if your property is damaged. With recent changes to the law, it can be more difficult than ever to do this – even if you’re in the right. If you haven’t got your inventory spot on, you’ve got no chance of recuperating any costs. By using an impartial and unbiased service like ours, the decision is taken out of your hands. We’ll undertake a comprehensive report of your property in a fair and unbiased way. If you’re sick of deposit disputes with tenants or simply want peace of mind, get in touch with us here.
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