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New Years Resolutions for the Savvy Landlord

New Years Resolutions for the Savvy Landlord

1. Review your home insurance

When did you last really shop around for this? Or like me, do you hit the renew button each year – daunted by the prospect of finding a better deal. What can seem like a headache, can actually usually be achieved in a lunch break and with the help of many of the online calculators often all of the actual switching is done for you! I also recently discovered that my contents value was not up to date – having first been taken out over 4 years ago. That new expensive bike you got for Christmas – is that insured? Or the engagement ring you were lucky enough to receive last Summer? Make sure it is all up to date!

2. Review your mortgage

Past taking out an initial mortgage, the average homeowner rarely re-evaluates their mortgage in regards to rate, or in regards to equity held in the property. At the moment there are some fantastic deals about, meaning you can save money each month on your existing mortgage. Equally do you know how much equity you hold in your own home or in your current investments? Pair this with a great lending deal and could you actually squeeze another investment this year? We have some great contacts here who can help you evaluate all of these options and really get the most out of either your own home, or your investments.

3. Visit your investments

If you are already a landlord, who currently does not use a managed service then when was the last time you visited your property? Make the time this year – a property should be visited ideally every six months. Any more and you risk infringing on the tenants quiet enjoyment, and any less and you might miss key repairs. Tenants will only report issues which affect them, and often problems can be seasonal. The wet patch that appears every Winter might not be reported by the tenant because they ‘are happy to live with’, and might be missed if you only visit every Summer….

4. Invest in maintenance

Boiler services can seem an unnecessary expense if your boiler is working ok….. but they can really help prolong the lifespan of your boiler and prevent that whopping great cost of a new boiler sooner than is necessary. Also, don’t forget that new boilers must be serviced annually in order to retain the warranty. There are many appliances in the home which can benefit from this type of servicing and can help save money in the long run.

5. Plan for refurbishment

When a long term tenant leaves, often landlords are left without the capital investment required to update the property as is required. You end up doing the bare minimum, to bring up to standard and accepting a slightly lower rent perhaps than a flat in tip top condition. Visit the property now (see point 3!) and make a plan from short term to long term in terms of spend so that you can start to set aside funds for this. Take your agent or property manager with you so you can get an idea on what work will reward you with the best return when the property finally does come back to the market.

 

Reagan Bradley
Operations Director, Lettings & Management



 

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