As an experienced lettings negotiator and manager I am often asked by landlords ‘How can i save money on my rental?’
Whilst the answers are not always clear as interests rates look set to rise and landlord taxation rules change, there are some simple tips I can give to help landlords protect their investment.
1# Stop void periods in their track!
One of the biggest problems new landlords approach me with is properties sitting empty for long periods. Whilst a property is empty landlords will lose money through to no rental income, council tax charges, water rates, gas and electricity builds and increased insurance costs. If the landlord has a mortgage to cover this could also be a problem with some landlords juggling multiple mortgages potentially bringing financial difficulty. Don’t let your agent relax on re-lets. Make them work to get you a tenant as quickly as possible and check there are no issues from the previous tenancy that could be holding your property back. Agents that make a fee out of finding tenants may not be as motivated as those who only earn as you earn. Let your agent know the urgency in getting a tenant quickly for you. A good agent will start immediately booking viewings when your tenant gives notice so as they have a new tenant lined up as quickly as possible. Check in regularly with your agent. If they have not had any viewings within a week in the current market something is wrong. Remember for every week longer it takes to find a new tenant, it’s another week you will lose when the current tenant vacates.
2# The cheapest agent may not be the cheapest after all!
When it comes to choosing an agent management fee’s can vary. We often see landlords picking agents who offer 5% to 8% to manage their property because they are the cheapest on the market. These agents though often charge many fees for tenancy renewals, finding tenants and re-let fee’s. Agents offering lower management rates will often cut marketing costs too meaning taking longer to find a tenant. Some will even just throw anyone in to earn money quickly which could lead to problems with non payment later during the tenancy. If you have a smaller flat or property you will also find the tenant turnover is higher so looking for an agent with no re-let fee’s is a good way of saving money. The best way to judge whether you are the right agent is to produce a cost benefit analysis. Please feel free to email me using telford@if you would like a free CBA sheet.
3# Complete a maintenance check every few months on your property.
Look for issues that could become bigger problems such as a boiler not quite acting right, a lose waste fitting, missing washing machine connectors, lose or blocked guttering. These are problems which could eventually cause flooding, a new boiler or damp which can be more expensive if the problems are not fixed early. This could cost you a tenant too meaning you may lose out on rent !
4# Shop around for better mortgage or insurance deals.
If you have a mortgaged property don’t just renew the mortgage with the same provider, there is almost definitely a better deal out there. Using a truly independent mortgage adviser will help you to shop for the best possible deals for both mortgages and insurance which over the lifetime of a product could have you hundreds of pounds if not thousands.
5# Think before the tenant fee ban before it hits your pockets
The incoming tenant fee ban will most likely result in agents passing on more costs to you the landlord when it comes into force. it is expected that in April 2019 tenants fee’s will be banned. Plan in advance for the fee ban and question your agent about what they will be doing about it. If you discover they are going to charge, shop around for a better deal !
For more information on how you can save money on your rental property or portfolio please feel free to email me on s.floyd@or call 01952 701019 today !