Buy-to-let, especially in the UK, is not easy to get into for the faint of heart; there are so many horror stories from people who have tried and failed that it can seem like a sure way to lose money. In fact many people prefer to buy and flip properties rather than let them because they would rather own them for the shortest time possible. But are the fears justified? Any venture comes with risks. It is true that buy-to-let can be a tough investment but you shouldn’t let that get in your way. If you take reasonable precautions you should be able to make good investments that are profitable. If you are reasonable smart here are three things you needn’t worry about.
Tenants are from hell
This is a myth that has been perpetuated by landlords who don’t take time to vet new tenants. Here is what you ought to know – most people are good and they would never destroy a property especially if they know that they will be held accountable for damages. You need to vet every tenant that you put into your buy to let and not just for their ability to pay. Criminals, for example, are eager to pay their bills so as not to attract attention so as not to arouse suspicion but they can do horrible things to properties. You ought to do a full background check to find out exactly who you are dealing with. Have a contract that is very clear about damages to your property.
You will not make any money until your mortgage is paid off
It is true that when you buy a property to let the bulk of the rent payments will be used for mortgage payments but this is where you need to get smart. You should set your rent in such a way that after the mortgage is paid you can still have a bit of money for yourself. The only way to do that is to make sure that your home or apartment is renovated to the highest standards – tenants are willing to pay more for perceived value. You can add a few fixtures and fittings here and there that make your property the preferred rental and you will find that tenants are happy to pay more.
Downtime is something that you have to learn to live with
When you have a rental property tenants will move out from time to time and you have to find new ones if you want to keep on making money. You will read and hear stories about properties that stay vacant for months while owners try to find tenants but this will only happen to you if you insist on filling the vacancy yourself. If you don’t want to have any downtime why not make it someone else’s job to find you tenants? You will pay them a fraction of the first month’s salary but your property will be occupied most of the time.