How to turn your home into a buy-to-let investment

If you’re considering entering the buy-to-let market or letting out your existing home, there are a number of things to consider in order to have successful let.
With an extremely flat property market, ensuring that you’re offering a good deal that will please tenants and your bank is essential. Here are some tips to help turn your property into a successful let.
You should speak to your mortgage lender before turning your existing home into a rental property. It is not necessary to get a buy-to-let mortgage, as lender can also provide a ‘permission to let’ which allows you to keep your existing terms.
Refinancing – providing you can find a good rate – might work in your favour, however, as it provides an opportunity to free up some money to carry out any essential building works needed to attract and retain tenants.
Having some form of landlords insurance is always advised in buy to let situations, especially when renting to younger demographics. In some instances, you will not be able to get a buy-to-let mortgage without it.
These insurance policies often provide rent protection should your home become uninhabitable as a result of the insurable risks. Additional cover for faulty boilers or electrical devices is also covered by many landlords insurance policies, which could offer considerable financial relief should anything break down.
Decide on your target market
It’s always important to think about the type of tenants you wish to attract as this will largely decide how you should furnish and market your home. If you’re looking to attract families, providing a blank canvas is preferable, as is attractive outdoor space.
On the other hand you want to let your property to students, you will most certainly want to provide basic furnishings that are cheap to maintain as well as replace.
Rent pricing
Deciding on a fair rent price is normally reliant on the type of property you own and where it’s situated. If you have a mortgage on the property you should be looking to charge at least 125% of your monthly payments to ensure that you can pay for repairs and other landlord costs while making a profit on top.
Basic services
It’s your responsibility to provide tenants with safe and fully functioning gas and electricity appliances. An attractive property will always have the additional basic facilities such as fridge, freezer, cooker, shower and so on. Ensuring that these facilities are energy efficient and modern is a great incentive to tenants because it offers long term savings.
Additional services
Making sure you’re property has existing phone, internet and TV facilities is advisable if you want to appeal to short term renters – installing new lines can be costly and time consuming, something which is hugely off putting. There are many cheap internet solutions, and by having something ready to go upon moving in can be a big selling point.
The buy-to-let market is incredibly competitive, so ensuring that you can run your property in a financially viable manner – most vitally achieving good rents and minimising voids – is of the utmost importance. Follow these tips and you should be well on the way to a profitable investment.