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7 Buy-to-Let Mistakes to Avoid

buy-to-let mistakes

If you're about to take the plunge into the world of investment property then you'll want to make sure that you're fully prepared to become a landlord. That means avoiding some of these common buy-to-let mistakes...

1) Not treating your rental property like a business

There's a lot to consider when it comes to being profitable with your rental property and unless you get organised, you'll find yourself losing money before you know it!

Make sure you stay on top of all of your expenses and that you factor these in when managing your finances. Your mortgage isn't the only cost involved - you'll also need to consider things like property maintenance and insurance.

2) Not vetting your prospective tenants

The quality of your tenants will determine your success (or failure) as a landlord.

You can't make a profit if your tenants don't pay you.

It's a great idea to meet your prospective tenants in person so that you can get a real sense for who they are and whether they'll be a good fit for you and your property. 

Of course, while first impressions and gut feelings are definitely useful, there are also more quantitative ways to vet your tenants. You can ask for references and you can also run background checks using services such as Experian's tenant checking service.

3) Not fully understanding your responsibilities

There are a number of legal responsibilities associated with being a landlord and it's up to you to both know what they are and to adhere to them. Not doing so can land you with fines or even law suits.

For more information on what your landlord responsibilities are, take a look at the helpful advice on the gov.uk website.

Beginners' Guide to Getting a Buy-to-Let Mortgage ↓


4) Not getting rent guarantee insurance

Hopefully, if you've vetted your tenants well, you won't have to deal with missed or late rental payments too much. However, it's always better to be safe, than sorry and rent guarantee insurance will protect you should the worst happen and the odd late payment turn into something more serious.

It can cover most of your loss of rental income as well as any eviction and legal fees you might have suffered as a result.

5) Not completing a detailed inventory

To avoid any disagreement when it comes to the state and contents of your property, it's a great idea to complete an inventory at the start of any tenancy agreement and again at the end.

Make sure both you and your tenants are present and agree to the inventory.

A good inventory will include:

  • Photographs of the property
  • A list of furniture and fittings
  • Any other details which you feel are appropriate

6) Not having a professional Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement

It may be tempting to save money by creating your own tenancy agreement, but an AST will ensure you and your tenants are fully protected. It will clearly outline the rules and responsibilities for each and have information regarding the different ways to deal with issues.

7) Not using a mortgage broker

Of course, we couldn't finish this guide without mentioning the need for a good mortgage broker when you get your buy-to-let mortgage!

This type of mortgage generally comes with more costs than a standard mortgage. You can expect to pay higher fees, larger deposit and increased interest rates. A mortgage broker can find you the best deal for your specific circumstances - and will also have access to products which aren't available on the high street.

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We'd love to help you buy your buy-to-let mortgage! To chat to one of our friendly advisers, book your free consultation today... ⬇️

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Ellen King

Absolutely delighted with the service we received from Dean. The advice we received was timely and thorough; the service provided went above and beyond our expectations compared to other mortgage advisors we have used in the past and the whole application process was made straightforward and stress free. Overall, an excellent value for money service that I would highly recommend.


Ellen King

2019-09-04T15:53:10+00:00

Ellen King

Absolutely delighted with the service we received from Dean. The advice we received was timely and thorough; the service provided went above and beyond our expectations compared to other mortgage advisors we have used in the past and the whole application process was made straightforward and stress free. Overall, an excellent value for money service that I would highly recommend.

Miss Knight

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in making it possible for us to purchase our first property.  You have been brilliant and your services have been friendly, helpful, swift and professional.  We cannot thank you enough and it has been an absolute pleasure working with you.  What is known to be a stressful time has been very smooth and I have yourselves to thank for this.


Miss Knight

2016-03-22T17:24:36+00:00

Miss Knight

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in making it possible for us to purchase our first property.  You have been brilliant and your services have been friendly, helpful, swift and professional.  We cannot thank you enough and it has been an absolute pleasure working with you.  What is known to be a stressful time has been very smooth and I have yourselves to thank for this.

Mr L

Mr L hadn’t sold his house but had found the house of his dreams, we arranged a mortgage that allowed him to buy his new house without selling and a mortgage that was flexible enough for him to pay a large amount off when he sells his house.

2016-09-13T12:38:09+00:00
Mr L hadn’t sold his house but had found the house of his dreams, we arranged a mortgage that allowed him to buy his new house without selling and a mortgage that was flexible enough for him to pay a large amount off when he sells his house.

Miss G

Miss G sold her house and had found a new house, it all looked straight forward but she had a historical bankruptcy which meant lots of lenders were declining her. We found her a mainstream high street lender that would offer a mortgage even with her previous bankruptcy.

2016-09-13T12:43:22+00:00
Miss G sold her house and had found a new house, it all looked straight forward but she had a historical bankruptcy which meant lots of lenders were declining her. We found her a mainstream high street lender that would offer a mortgage even with her previous bankruptcy.

Mr W

Mr W works abroad but wanted to buy a buy to let property, most lenders will require him to own and live in in a mortgaged property in the UK, however we found a lender that would lend at sensible interest rates for a new buy to let purchase.

2016-09-13T12:48:10+00:00
Mr W works abroad but wanted to buy a buy to let property, most lenders will require him to own and live in in a mortgaged property in the UK, however we found a lender that would lend at sensible interest rates for a new buy to let purchase.

Mr C

Mr C wanted to buy a student house in Lincoln via a limited company to take advantage of the income tax benefits of this. He spoke with other brokers and high street lenders all of which said it wasn’t possible. We found a building society who specialise in this with sensible fees and interest rates.

2016-09-13T12:49:06+00:00
Mr C wanted to buy a student house in Lincoln via a limited company to take advantage of the income tax benefits of this. He spoke with other brokers and high street lenders all of which said it wasn’t possible. We found a building society who specialise in this with sensible fees and interest rates.