Buy To Let – Low Mortgage Rates Present Ideal Opportunities For Landlords

With the British economy thriving and interest rates remaining at an historic low, there has probably never been a better time for people to invest in the UK property market. Despite rising property prices, many people are in a fortunate position to be able to invest in property as a form of savings, rather than leave the money in a low return bank account.

Leading regional firm Pictons, which has offices in Herts, Beds and Bucks, held a joint seminar with a branch of the bank Handelsbanken, accountants Mercer & Hole and Robinson & Hall surveyors to cover the issues that buyers need to consider if they are buying a property that they intend to let to tenants rather than have it as their own residence.

Kathryn Dale, a specialist at Pictons says “The current low interest rates and a deep-seated British faith in “bricks and mortar” have combined to make buying to let an increasingly popular choice for investors. We held the seminar in the heart of Milton Keynes, which continues to have a booming property market.

“We highlighted the practical points that landlords need to remember to ensure that their buy-to-let investment is a lawful success. From a legal perspective, preparation is key. Just briefly, the main points a landlord needs to know include:

  1. The property – are there are reasons why letting this property could be problematic or excessively costly ? For example, are there restrictive covenants which could apply? These are provisions in the property deeds in which stipulate the manner in which the property can be used.
  2. Your obligations as a landlord – for example maintaining the exterior structure of the property, the central heating and hot water systems, gas and general safety and so on. You need to get professionals to install or certificate any gas or electrical processes you have because of fire regulations, carbon monoxide dangers etc.
  3. The tenant – obtain proper references and consider a guarantor. Take (and most-importantly secure and document) a reasonable deposit and insist on a detailed inventory. Hopefully you’ll have good tenants but if you are unlucky you’ll need legal back up to claim for any damages, or even to get them out of your property.
  4. The terms of the tenancy – this is your legal contract with your tenant so obtain a professionally drafted tenancy agreement which will protect you and your assets.
    “The key is to take advice early on as problems tend to get worse over time and we can take steps to nip matters in the bud. A buy to let property is a great investment but it’s a costly one and potential landlords should ensure they are legally protected on all aspects of any tenancy situation.”

At similar events Kathryn has also covered:

Landlords key obligations
Not lawful obligations – but a very good idea!
Ending the tenancy
Tenancy deposits
Recent legal updates
Overiding advice that is absolutely essential
For any further information call Kathryn at Pictons on 0845 263 7505 or email us