An Expert ‘Buy to Let’ Checklist from Belvoir.

12 10 2012

Advice for new Buy-To-Let investors can still be contradictory and confusing. Like most things if you’re Buying-To-Let, you need to do it right and when a considerate amount of your own money is involved it becomes absolutely critical.

That’s why Belvoir has prepared a definitive checklist for anyone wanting to make a success of an investment in residential rental property.

It offers a selection of do’s and don’ts, but it’s only guidance – we prefer to sit down, face-to-face, with a new potential investor and offer more solid professional advice, since everyone’s circumstances and expectations are very different.


  • Research your market – the area, the people you want to rent to, the available property, the benefits and the risks – and keep up with letting industry news.
  • Choose your preferred tenant type. Students? Young professionals? Families?
  • Find the right property that will appeal to them – houses, flats, older properties, newer builds? Students may not need anything particularly stylish but a young professional might.
  • Then pick the right area where they want to live – parents may want to be close to schools and shops; wage earners need to commute to work; students have to be near to their college or university. Look outside your own area if necessary.
  • If local crime statistics are available, take a look and bear them in mind.
  • Study the condition of any property you are interested in – from roof, guttering and windows on the outside to condensation, leaks and electrical wiring on the inside. Be conscious of fire risks.
  • Check whether extensions or conversions have met planning permission or building regulations.
  • Don’t accept the first mortgage offer you get. Shop around. Gather information. Compare.
  • Get the maths right – your investment might give a better return in some other way. How much is the right property going to cost? Is the rent you expect to get enough to cover the mortgage and give a profitable return? Does the potential capital growth add up to a good investment?
  • Talk to an independent lettings agent before you buy. Most mistakes involve either wrong location or wrong price paid for a property.
  • Don’t be greedy – Buying-To-Let should be approached as a long-term investment, not a quick fix.
  • Be prepared for costs that can upset your calculations – ongoing maintenance, small and major repairs, advertising, future rate rises, mortgage costs, agents fees, tax, falling house values, periods when you can’t find tenants and the property is empty.
  • Get the right insurance cover – and that can include insuring yourself against tenants who fail to pay rent.
  • If you’re going to manage the let yourself, be prepared to sacrifice your evenings and weekends!
  • If this is likely to more of a drain than you are prepared for, seek out professional, fully accredited lettings agent who, for a fee, will look after your property, your interests and your tenants on your behalf.
  • As well as being completely up to date on legal, legislative and property industry issues, a local agent such as Belvoir will have expert knowledge of the best rates from local electricians, plumbers and so on, which in itself, can be worth a weight in gold. Belvoir local offices do not make any charge for pre-purchase advice, property visits or rental valuations.

Above all, before you do anything, get professional advice……As the legendary, oil well fire-fighter, ‘Red’ Adair, once said: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait till you hire an amateur.”!

For more information upon pre-purchase advise, available insurances, etc please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Tel: 01782 478 444        Email:







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