Buying a property can be the biggest decision made in our lives. It is for this very reason that impartial advice is critical from qualified advisers.
Becoming a private landlord should not be seen as an easy way of making money. It can be riskier and more complicated. It can also be very time consuming, more than most forms of investment, and there is no guarantee that house prices will rise. That said, having a second property to let to tenants could reap considerable financial rewards over time.
There are 3 main differences in buy to let mortgages:
- Rent Potential – the decision as to whether or not a mortgage will be offered is usually based on the rent you will earn as well as your income. In some cases your income is not ever considered.
- Interest Rate – buy to let mortgages have slightly higher interest rates.
- Larger Deposit – typically a minimum of 25% of the property’s value is required as a deposit.
When buying a second property to let, you will need to decide whether your primary objective is income or capital growth. In other words, are you looking to make a profit month on month or are you looking to make a profit through increased equity from the second property if it increases in value over time? The decision may affect the type of property you purchase, and the location.
When you manage a property there are many costs involved in addition to the monthly mortgage repayments. As a guide, you should be aiming to achieve a gross rent of at least 150% of the rental property’s interest only mortgage repayments in order to cover your costs should anything go wrong.
These additional costs include:
- Property upkeep – maintenance costs for the property.
- Letting agent’s fees – letting agents charge around 10% of the monthly rent for finding and vetting tenants with an additional cost of around 5% if you require a full management service.
- Ground rent / service charges – applicable to leasehold properties.
- Legal insurance – to cover costs from evicting tenants in the event of non-payment, very important, as this can be very expensive.
- Insurance – building insurance and contents insurance for the items provided as part of the rental agreement.
- Furnishings – the purchase of any furniture. If the property is to be let furnished, make sure you are covered for this by your home insurance.
- Gas / electrical appliances – cost of maintaining appliances and ensuring they comply with any regulations such as safety tests.
- Decorating costs – the property may require work ranging from painting, to a new bathroom suite before it is suitable for letting to tenants.
- New stamp duty rules were introduced in April 2016. Please check the details with you adviser.
When choosing a property to let, it is wise to take advice from local letting agents to determine; what types of properties are in need and which parts of the town are best or most wanted. They can tell you if there is a University in the town, and if students are looking for somewhere to live.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate most forms of buy to let mortgages.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Your existing lender may require an early repayment charge if you remortgage. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. When consolidating debts the new mortgage may have a longer repayment term and therefore increase the total amount payable.
We charge a fee of £250 for mortgages over £150,000 / £500 for mortgages between £75,000 and £150,000 and £750 for mortgages under £75,000. We only charge if we are successful in obtaining a mortgage offer for you and our fee is payable on receipt of that mortgage offer.