Landlord costs

Landlords urged to consider costs to measure returns

Costs associated with the annual running and upkeep of a buy-to-let property – including letting agent fees, maintenance, repairs, marketing fees and mortgage interest – amounts to an average of £8,359.

Mortgage Introducer reports that almost one in eight landlords do not take any costs into consideration when calculating the financial performance of their buy-to-let portfolio, leaving them particularly vulnerable to misjudging the returns they will make from their investment.

Steve Bolton, founder and chairman of Platinum Property Partners, said: “The buy-to-let market is a hot ticket investment at the moment for budding landlords looking to generate an income and good level of capital growth from rental property.

“This is particularly the case now that new pension freedoms have opened the gates to alternative financial plans for retirement.

“But becoming a landlord isn’t a walk in the park, and running a successful BTL portfolio takes continued investments of time and money on top of your initial lump sum investment.

“Many landlords appear to be burying their heads in the sands and are seriously in the dark about the ‘true’ value of the returns from their BTL investment if they don’t take into consideration regular outgoings such as letting agent fees, repairs, redecoration costs, and mortgage interest.”

Mr Bolton also said that property investors need to keep note of all these additional expenses to make sure they are evaluating their returns rigorously.

“If landlords don’t have all the information at their fingertips, they can’t properly assess market risk and opportunities to make informed decisions about the future of their portfolio, or plan effectively,” he added.

“It also makes it extremely difficult to compare the performance of a BTL portfolio against other forms of investment.”