Buy-to-let is an investment strategy whereby residential property is purchased for the purpose of renting it out for profit. Unlike when you buy a property to live in yourself, if you invest in a buy-to-let property you will have additional responsibilities, most obviously that of being a landlord. You should give consideration to factors such as the type of tenant you plan to attract, and what their requirements will be in a property. These will include the property's size, location and local amenities. Investing in a buy-to-let property also requires you to consider how you will manage your property and tenants, and how income received through renting out the property will affect your position in relation to income tax.
What responsibilities does a landlord have?
As a landlord, you will have responsibility for finding tenants, obtaining tenant references and collecting rent from them. You will also be required to maintain the condition of the property and resolve any problems, should any arise. You will have a number of legal obligations, including the requirements that you carry out repairs to the property when necessary, ensure that the property is safe to live in by completing safety checks on electrical and gas appliances, and making sure that furniture and furnishings meet the required safety standards. As the owner of a buy-to-let property, you will have obligations to your mortgage lender. The most obvious of these is to repay your mortgage as agreed. Prospective landlords should consider that there might be periods between tenancy agreements when the property is empty and no rental income is being received. During these times, you will still be required to make repayments on your mortgage.
What will my costs be if I invest in a buy-to-let property?
While a buy-to-let property can be financially rewarding, it is important to establish your returns and costs before committing to a purchase. Costs involved in the purchase of a buy-to-let property include:
buying the property;
stamp duty; and
Are mortgage requirements different for buy-to-let properties?
If you are purchasing a buy-to-let property, you must inform any potential mortgage provider about your plans, and make sure that your mortgage allows you to rent the property out. Buy-to-let mortgages vary widely depending on the mortgage provider, but often interest rates will be marginally higher than is the case with a standard mortgage. It is common for lenders to impose rigorous conditions, for example that the lender be over 25 years old, have an income of over £35,000 exclusive of any potential rental income, have previously been granted a mortgage, and that there is a maximum loan to value ratio of over 75%.
Contact our Buy to Let Lawyers in Sheffield, Rotherham, and London, UK
The Residential Conveyancing Solicitors at Wilford Smith provide their clients with a high-quality, professional service covering all areas of buying and selling property, as well as all other areas of residential conveyancing specifically related to buy-to-let purchases. Through our exceptional Client Care, we aim to make the process of buying, selling and managing your buy-to-let property as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
Our Property Development Teams are based in London, Sheffield and Manchester, and assist clients across England and Wales. Find out more information on our fees here. Contact us today on 0808 164 1028 to find out how we can help.