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Top Tips For Happy Property Letting

Feb 15, 2008
If your pension is under performing and the stock market is just costing you cash, then maybe property letting is the route you should take to secure your financial future.

Buying a house and doing it up could be a sensible thing to do - especially if you have relevant building or decorating skills that you can use to keep the costs of the project down.

Buy to lets are very important to the UK property market. In the last week, the British Property Federation has said that property letting is key to solving the perceived housing crisis in the UK.

It says that government research shows demand for rented property is now 25 per cent higher than for houses purchased privately. And it believes that difference will continue to rise if prices increase further.

The BPF believes that it is only by renting a home that millions of people who can't afford to buy a home are going to find somewhere to live. It points to a similar development of property letting in the United States and Germany.

While the BPF believes the solution is a professional rental sector where property managers run domestic lets on a large scale, as with commercial property now, this situation presents clear opportunities for small investors - you.

So if you decide to go down that route, or indeed you already have a home that you rent out to others, how can you make sure that you and the tenant are perfect for each other?

Estate agent Knight Frank recently issued a series of tips for both landlords and their tenants to help them get along.

For you, the key thing to remember is that property letting is a business. And that means if you give the customer (the tenant) what they want, you will maximize your profit from your investment. It's as simple as that and the reason why it is key to research your intended market thoroughly. Ensure you understand the kind of people you hope to rent to, and the lifestyle they lead.

Families renting a four bedroomed house want space, a garden, safety and no fancy features that could be broken by the children. Professional couples might want more of a show home and will be willing to pay a little extra for the perfect location or feature in the home.

Next up, you must remember to make your property neutral but not bland. To impress tenants you need to declutter and depersonalize the house before viewings. Unless they are renting it furnished, they need to be able to imagine that they will be happy there.

Next in the list of property letting tips is to keep the house in an excellent state of repair. A house in an excellent condition is much more likely to be returned to you that way, whereas if it's a bit tatty, tenants are less likely to take care of it.

You are legally required to get the boiler serviced each year, and you should ensure the electrics are up to scratch too.

Finally, ensure you tell your mortgage provider and buildings insurer what you are doing. It may seem tempting to keep it quiet and save a little money, but any claims you have to put in may be rejected if they discover you are property letting and haven't told them.

For your tenants, the estate agent recommends they have references ready in plenty of time, ask for any improvements to the property to be done before signing the lease, and commit to at least a year's rental, so as to be more attractive to landlords.
About the Author
If you are considering letting out properties, please see the Property Today website for more about property development
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