Can I Really Be A Landlord?

NathalieM By NathalieM, 26th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Property

It’s certainly possible for you to be a landlord but it’s likely that it will be a considerable challenge, so it’s worth some serious thought.
Think before you buy, that’s the main lesson to be taken away here. But what specifically should you focus on?

Thinking About Investing?

You might be thinking about investing in property; a lot of people are. It’s not an outlandish dream, not like you might think. There are actually very encouraging signs that being a landlord is entirely possible, even for younger people.
“How is this possible?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s got something to do with the recent government incentives, which are designed to help get more people on the property ladder. The most notable of these incentives is the Help To Buy scheme.
The hope is that it will get more of the population owning property. But when you own property you have to think about what you’re going to use it for, and many people choose to use it as an investment by letting it out and thereby generating an income.
So it’s not impossible, not an outlandish dream, but you do have to consider a few things before you go into this type of investment – and although it’s certainly possible for you to be a landlord it’s likely that it will be a considerable challenge, so it’s worth some serious thought.
Think before you buy, that’s the main lesson to be taken away here. But what specifically should you focus on?

Define Your Needs & Refine Your Expectations

Property is an unbelievably important asset to most people; as such, it’s very expensive. The UK is both gifted and cursed as property values are impossibly high, which is great for sellers but not great for buyers – especially if it’s your first time buying.
You really need to be realistic; this means that unless you have a huge budget you’re probably not going to get a huge mansion or a penthouse apartment that generates a massive rent. The main thing to think about is the type of property you want, house or flat?
It depends on the area: buying in the middle of a big city will mean that you might have a hard time finding a house, whereas if you’re looking in a suburban or rural area it will be much easier. Other things you need to define before you start looking include:
• Number Of Bedrooms – The more bedrooms that your property has, the more people can live in it – and the more rent you can charge. 2 bedroom properties are very much in demand, and can fetch £250,000 quite easily in many areas. Overall, prices are rising at their fastest rate since 2007 so think about what you can afford.
• Leasehold Or Freehold – The type of ownership a property has is very important to consider: if you get a leasehold property you’re likely to get more for your money – if the lease is 100 years or more (which they commonly are) then you might not need freehold ownership as you’ll likely own the property for your whole lifetime. Think about whether you’re willing to compromise at all.
Try to come to a nice balance between what you need and what you want; you can spend ages looking for properties so you should know exactly what you want before you start. It’s always a good idea to refine your expectations and not get your hopes up too high. Be realistic and don’t get too carried away; that way you’re much less likely to be disappointed at the end.

Realise The Ins & Outs Of Landlord Life

Being a landlord is almost like a job: there are a lot of responsibilities involved. All too often people neglect to factor in the costs of many things involved with being a landlord, and this leaves them somewhat overstretched.
Common costs associated with being a landlord include:
• Insurance – You will need insurance to cover liability should a tenant make a claim against you. In fact, commercial landlord insurance is a legal requirement in this regard. You will also need to insure the building: many providers will give you a specific landlords insurance quote that factors in both so long as you can provide certain details of your ownership.
• Maintenance – There is a considerable amount of maintenance involved with owning a house. Wear and tear is unfortunately completely unavoidable. However there are various landlord tax breaks that can alleviate the cost of this.
• Occupancy – If you have a property that is let, it’s possible that the tenant will leave. This means you will not be generating an income at this time. Have a contingency plan in place to make sure the property is occupied for the maximum amount of time possible. It’s a good idea to talk to some lettings agents and register with them as soon as you find out your tenant is leaving.
It’s a difficult business, but it can be very rewarding. Many tenants and landlords have very appreciative business relationships with one another, and if you’re approaching the costs with realistic expectations and you make the effort to save costs where possible it can be quite profitable.

You Can Be A Landlord If You’re Willing To Put In The Work

The preceding heading pretty much sums it up. Remember that being a landlord is a tough job for most people, and if it’s not something you feel you can do then it’s probably not worth doing it, as it demands a lot of your attention.
But, with the right attitude and some good research – it’s perfectly possible to be a landlord.

Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to comment. Check out the rest of my work on WikiNut too, especially “How Are Tree Diseases Impacting UK Woodlands”
Also, follow me on Twitter for all the latest – @MartinNathalie9

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Becoming A Landlord, Business, Landlord Advice, Property

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author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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author avatar Rose*
23rd Nov 2013 (#)

Don't forget to allocate some money towards "wear and tear". Tenants don't look after homes very well and after a few years you'll have to redecorate and replace carpets and furniture.

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