Why choosing a letting agent may be your best investment decision
Buy-to-let is a little more problematic now than it has been previously. We’ve seen a number of changes:
- Stamp duty is higher on second homes, and buy-to-let is classified as a second home purchase for that purpose
- Tax relief is being reduced from April – landlords will get a 20% tax credit and that’s it, whatever their personal rate of tax
- Brexit introduces uncertainty, and uncertainty is always a brake on investment for those more cautious
- Affordability tests introduced before the tax changes are making mortgages more difficult to find
- Mortgage interest is attractively low – but what is low can rise, and that may upset some optimistic calculations
Apart from the changing buy-to-let environment described above, there also things which haven’t changed:
- The need to vet new tenants carefully
- Emergency calls in the middle of the night
- Moonlighting tenants who damage the property
Should you stay out of buy-to-let? No. It is still one of the best investments around – but you do need to treat it as an investment, and you do need to take care. But this is not an investment to make or to manage alone. Here are just some of the things a good letting agent can do for you:
- Stay abreast of further legislative and tax changes and keep you informed of their effect on you and your investment
- Maintain an up-to-date list of reliable contractors who will do a good job
- Advise on which property would be a good choice, and which would be a mistake
- Negotiate with tenants, and carry out background checks
- Advise on refurbishment and improvements that can transform a rental property and the quality of the market it appeals to.
What is clear from this short list is that, if you decide to go with a letting agent, you need one who has all the relevant knowledge and experience. But above all, you need one you can trust.
Get in touch – let’s get together and we’ll help you decide whether we’re the right agent for you.