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Points to consider before you buy to let

An investment in private rented property is not something which can be sold quickly. Moreover, your risks in a buy to let investment may alter rapidly if the availability of buy to let financial and insurance products changes.
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Once you have made the decision to invest in a buy to let property, what’s next?

You now need to identify the type of property you want – what is best for you and what is best for the type of tenant you want?

Think practically when choosing the property - if you are aiming to rent to a single person, a one bedroom flat with no garden may be better than a three bedroom house.

Select a property that can easily be resold if you no longer want the property.

Think about the age of the property - an older property may need work carried out before you can let it out.

Also think about the location of the property – the needs of a tenant who is a student are different to corporate tenants or families.

Once you have found the right property, you will need to arrange the finance to purchase it.

The practical steps you need to think about are the following.

Get the right mortgage product - an independent financial advisor will advise you on the buy to let mortgage products on the market - you need the right deal at the right rate.

Carry out a survey - there are three types of survey recognised by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS):

  • a condition report - a basic report suitable for all modern properties
  • a homebuyer’s report – an extensive report suitable for all modern properties
  • a building survey – a comprehensive report that is suitable for all types of modern, older, listed, altered and unusual property and those in need of structural repair

Properties are available to purchase which are already let to a tenant. Your solicitor will check all the legal documents but there are a few points to check with the agent marketing the property.

Request a copy of the Assured Tenancy Agreement with the existing tenant. If you’re a landlord in Scotland, the tenancy agreement may be a Private Residential Tenancy, which replaced all Assured and Short Assured Tenancy Agreements for all new tenancies starting from 1 December 2017.

Ask whether all identity checks and credit checks were carried out on the tenant; ask if there is a deposit - if yes, will it be transferred to you?

Find out how the rent is paid - is it paid in advance or arrears? Ask if the tenant pays the rent on time and if the tenant has ever fallen behind on paying the rent.

Once you have purchased a buy to let property, you will need to prepare for the letting and think about how to maximise your yield. Consider things such as whether you will manage the property yourself or engage an agent and whether you will let it furnished or unfurnished. You will also need to prepare to let the property and comply with certain regulations. For more information, read Buy to let as an investment (for England and Wales) or Buy to let as an investment in Scotland (for Scotland).

Make your Tenancy agreement
Get started
Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest

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