SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 69
BUYING AND SELLING ▲
Maya Lacey, 40, lives on the
outskirts of Edinburgh. She
rents out a house she inherited
from her aunt three years ago.
'Rent insurance is vital,
because if your tenant stops
paying for whatever reason,
you will still receive the money.
'Policies don't cost that much,
but imagine if you didn't get
any rent for, say, six months
until the situation was resolved
through the courts. You could
be in serious trouble with
your bank if you start to miss
mortgage payments and may
even face repossession.'
'ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO
LOVE YOUR PROPERTY'
Emma Howard, 38, recently left London for north
Kent. She still owns her previous property, a
two-bedroom ﬂat in Clapham, south London,
which she has let to a young professional couple.
'Do anything you can to keep tenants for a long
period. Give them a welcome pack when they arrive
- a bottle of wine, some milk, teabags, biscuits and a
map of the area with amenities highlighted (nearest
newsagent, grocery shop, doctor, chemist, park). Tell
them about good local cafés and pubs.
'When a place feels like home, it gets looked after
better. With potential ﬁrst-time buyers blocked
from the property ladder by price, there are lots of
older tenants who want to live somewhere long term
and make it their own. It's also essential to get things
ﬁxed as soon as your tenants alert you to a problem.'
S A R A H B E E N Y'S B U Y-T O-L E T T I P S
Do thorough research before
you commit. Check local
rental conditions - analyse
demand and determine the types
of renting in your area. Look for
positive signs, such as a large ﬁrm
relocating to the area, trendy bars
and shops, and good schools.
Choose a property with features
that will appeal to your market.
An attractive rental property
is one that is close to public
transport links and, ideally,
has oﬀ-street parking, too.
If you are planning to
rent your house or ﬂat
to professionals, all of the
bedrooms should be doubles, as
this is what they will expect.
than a week's rent to get someone
else in to do the job for you.
Bear in mind that if you are
planning on renting your
house to a family, they will
require plenty of space and places
to store toys, clothes and so on. Be
clear at the outset about whether
you allow any type of pet.
If you are the sole freeholder
of the property, you will
need to ensure that any
communal areas and the exterior
are well maintained. If your
buy-to-let is leasehold, however,
the responsibility for this will rest
with the freeholder, unless your
lease speciﬁcally states otherwise.
Steer clear of large gardens,
especially if the property is
in town, unless you intend
to add the cost of a gardener to the
rent and you are aiming to market
your property as a family home.
You want a property that
will run as smoothly as
possible, so you are not run oﬀ
your feet sorting out problems.
Be prepared to do some hard
work when necessary if you
are managing the property
yourself. A rental is far from being
a hassle-free way of earning money.
Choose a property close to
your home, as this will
enable you to pop over and
sort out any problems easily.
Otherwise, it can cost you more
Consider whether you
want to let unfurnished
or furnished. There is
sometimes little diﬀerence between
the rental income commanded
by unfurnished, part and fully
furnished properties. It all depends
on your market and the demand in
your area. So, before you go looking
for furniture, do your research
and ﬁnd the best option for you.
www.athomemagazine.co.uk MAY 2017 | 069