It’s stating the obvious to say that you shouldn’t take potential tenants on face value, but the same can be said for references. That’s why you need to check out what measures your reference provider takes to ensure that the information provided really is meaningful - by Nigel Atkinson
There's been a huge amount of hype surround Smart meters recently, so should you be considering one?
Some people dread receiving their energy bill and find it hard to budget for. Others don't have a great credit history and so providers won't agree to bill them.
You've probably heard of Economy 7, or variable rate meters. They work on the basis that electricity is cheaper at night and record your off-peak usage separately, so you can pay less.
If you don't understand what you're seeing when you read your electricity or gas meter then it can be hard to work out whether you're being billed correctly or whether you're on the best tariff.
A fire risk assessment is an organised and disciplined look at your property, the actions carried within it and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises.
It is normally stated in a letting contract that the rent will go up with the Retail Price Inflation (RPI) if you are doing a lease extension.
Every business knows that cash flow can make the business or break it. It doesn't matter that a business owns substantial assets, or is owed money – if it can't pay its suppliers and staff when it needs to, then eventually it must take action, or it will go bust.
This is known as cashflowing and is a common part of investment strategy in rapidly rising markets, especially in the early investment years.
Ideally, the rental income that your investment properties produce each month should be more than enough to cover the cost of financing, and the cost of managing and maintaining them.
This is an area of cost that, while unavoidable, is at least fairly predicable.
Voids – simply, periods when your property is without a tenant – eat into the yield on your investment dramatically and almost imperceptibly, like moths munching on clothes in a drawer.
Whatever the age or state of repair of your property – or properties – there will always be the need for some ongoing maintenance. If you’re lucky, this can be minimal, but it will never be none!
Generally speaking, costs will revolve around the following areas:
Most buy-to-let investors will buy the initial properties in areas they know well and have the ability to manage at short notice.