7 Tactics All Landlords Must Employ for Success

Maximising your buy-to-let profits has been the main theme of our articles over the last few weeks. If you have been keeping a tag on our tips, you will have read:

  • If raising rents on good tenants is a bad idea
  • If you should offer incentives for good tenants
  • How to improve cash flow on rental property
  • What the best buy-to-let furniture is to maximise rental income

In the last of this series of articles, you’ll learn seven tactics to maximise your buy-to-let profits in 2020.

1.    Vet Your Tenants

Vetting new tenants is crucial. Never cut corners. Don’t take your applicant’s word for anything.

You must gather all the information you can on new tenants, and check that they are being truthful. You should contact previous landlords and current employers. Run a credit check. You must establish that your tenant:

  • Is trustworthy
  • Has a regular job with a regular salary
  • Has been a good tenant in the past
  • Is financially stable

If a prospective tenant doesn’t tick all these boxes, should you really let your property to them?

2.    Make Regular Property Inspections

Regular property inspections help you to keep on top of your property and your tenant. During a property inspection, you should be checking for signs of extra tenants and inspect for damage. Compare the condition of the property, fixtures, fittings and furniture against the previous property inventory, and update accordingly.

Even though you have explained the need to report repair and maintenance issues with your tenant, you’ll find that minor accidental damage often goes unreported. If left, small issues can become major repairs. A property inspection is your chance to ensure that any small, accidental damage is put right.

3.    Keep on Top of Regular Maintenance

There are some maintenance jobs that are required by law (such as Gas Safe certificates and electrical testing). Others are not needed in law, but if you don’t carry out regular maintenance your property will start to fall into disrepair.

Compose a maintenance rota, discuss it with your tenant, and then carry out the work when you say you will.

4.    Avoid Void Periods

Void periods are costly. No rental income, but still the mortgage and other costs to pay. While void periods are inevitable, by being a good landlord and having a good relationship with your tenant you can encourage your tenants to stay put. When tenants do give notice, you should work hard and market your property early to make sure that a void period is as short as possible.

5.    Review Your Rent

If you charge too much or too little rent, you are asking for trouble. Ask for too much rent and you’ll find it more difficult to attract and retain tenants. Charge too little and you will earn less rental income than you should – and prospective tenants might ask why your property is so cheap, thinking that there must be a defect.

It is essential to review the local market at least once a year, and certainly when a tenant moves on. Remember, too, that accepting an offer of a little less than your advertised rental price could mean a shorter void period and, over the year, put more money in your pocket.

6.    Make It Easy for Tenants to Pay their Rent

Like reporting repair issues, if it is easy to pay rent a tenant is more likely to pay on time. An online portal to pay rent or accepting rent by direct credit is the best ways for tenants to pay. They are quick, too, meaning your rent is in the bank ready for you to pay your mortgage payments – and that will ensure that you don’t get charged overdraft fees. Extra income is not the only way to boost your profits.

7.    Keep Your Records!

Keep all your invoices, receipts and other documents. Open a file to keep them in. When it comes to completing your tax return, you will need to supply evidence of your outgoings to claim deductions.

It is better to compile your accounts weekly or monthly. You’ll get a better handle on your finances and act as needed immediately to keep on track.

Have a Successful 2020!

Your success is critical. Every landlord who does not maximise their buy-to-let profits is a risk to the private rented sector (PRS), and the PRS is crucial in the UK’s housing market.

We wish you the greatest success in 2020, whether a landlord client of ours or otherwise. Enjoy your life as a landlord. Enjoy your free time, and the passive income that buy-to-let should be paying you. And if you want to know how to benefit from effortless property management, contact Ezytrac today at +44 0 1522 503 717

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood