We pride ourselves on our communication. If it’s convenient for you, then we would always prefer to assist in person or over the phone. It’s helpful to understand your needs before advising you on your buy-to-let investment. It’s also helpful for you to understand your responsibilities before advising us of your needs. To help, we have created this guide to use as a reference or starting point before we come together to chat.

Having a basic understanding of what you’re looking for will save you time. Are you looking for an attractive rental yield for a short-term investment? Or are you focused on long term capital growth? Understanding the costs involved with maintaining a property is fundamental in calculating your return. Would you prefer freehold or leasehold? Have you explored how you will fund the purchase? Do you understand about LTV? PRS? The answers to all these questions will ensure you’re able to make informed decisions. A good agent will help by providing guidance.

As with most markets, the property market is constantly evolving. Manchester has been a hot spot for investment for many years and its continued growth offers reassurance for any investor. Many factors affect demand and supply. PRS continues to grow, shape the city, and change the expectations of its tenants. An experienced and long serving agent will have access to historical trends and data which enables them to access the risks involved with a buy-to-let investment. They will know the city and its residents inside and out.

First and foremost, make sure you’re taking advice from the right people. A reputable company will be members of a redress scheme such as The Property Ombudsmen (TPO) and offer Client Money Protect. Have a look on the internet for letting agents that operate locally to the area you’re looking to invest in. Read their reviews and even between the lines. We would recommend that you receive three rental valuations from independent and national agents so that you can decipher how each of them operate and plan to look after your investment. Prior to meeting your agent, it would be a good idea to have a list of questions regarding your responsibilities. All agencies work very differently, but all of them should be up to date with the most recent legislation and compliance requirements.

Consider their guidance carefully. When you’ve chosen the agent who is right for you, then you will need to formally instruct them by signing a Lettings Agency Agreement. It will also be necessary to discuss handing over a set of keys for your property to your agent, to allow for them to conduct viewings.

Taking the guidance of a reputable agent is key in ensuring that you price your investment at the right level. Priced too high and you could end up with void costs associated with a vacant property. Priced too low and it could leave your investment underperforming. There are several factors an agent will take into consideration when valuing your property for rent. It’s almost certainly worth arranging the time to talk to them in depth to understand the reasons behind their valuation.

Legislation and compliance continue to change and shape the industry. It’s important you are aware of the most recent updates and keep on top of your responsibilities. Do you know how long an EICR is valid for? Or the financial implications of you not registering a deposit correctly? Do you have a consent to let? It can be quite the minefield and not one you will want to navigate without the right guidance.

Don’t be fooled, a buy to let property is no armchair investment. Being a hands-on landlord is about understanding the process and managing the relationship with your tenant. Do you have the time? Are you aware of the legalities involved in the process? Hiring the services of a reputable agent will offer reassurance and take out some of the stress that comes with being a landlord.

Once you have taken advice from your agent on the demand for unfurnished, part furnished or fully furnished properties, then you’ll need to prepare it for photos and ensure it’s ready for its next resident. We would always recommend presenting your property to a show home standard for us to take our marketing photographs. This gives your property the best opportunity to stand out amongst its competitors. Weather dependant, photos are best taken on a clear and sunny day when the rooms can be flooded with natural light. Check that all bulbs are working in all lights, as they should all be on for photographs.
If you’re renting a house as opposed to an apartment, tidy up the outside areas and give it some curb appeal. Presenting your property in the best way will benefit you, your future tenants, and your lettings opportunities. Your agent will then attend the property to take marketing photographs and a virtual tour.

Once your agent has taken photographs of the property and edited the virtual tour, they will draft the online advert. They will then send you a link for you to review. If you require any amendments, then it’s best that you advise them at the earliest so that they can get your advert online.

Once you are happy, the advert will be uploaded to various property portals and marketing will commence. A good agent will then immediately start contacting tenants registered on their database. The best will start doing this at the point of instruction.

If they have high street presence, almost certainly ask them if your property can be showcased in their branch window.

Your agent will conduct viewings on your behalf, this allows for them to get the most feedback from viewers during the time they have together. All feedback, however good or bad, will be fed back to you in an honest and transparent manner so that you can work together to source you the right tenant. Ensure you provide them with access to all areas. Allow prospective tenants to have a complete understanding of what is on offer.

Alongside feedback reports after every viewing, your agent will endeavour to provide you with market updates. These can be provided monthly over the phone, video call or if that is not convenient it can be done via email. These market updates will give you with an insight into how quickly the rental market is moving, and how your property specifically is performing on online alongside neighbouring properties. This is also the perfect opportunity to discuss possible price reductions or a change in strategy.

A good agent will ensure that they obtain important information surrounding a prospective tenant’s circumstances before forwarding you an offer for your consideration. It’s essential that you make an informed decision and are comfortable with who you are renting your property to. In the case of multiple offers, take time to consider the risks, if there are any. Once you have advised the agent on who you wish to proceed with, they will request a holding deposit and commence the referencing process. At this stage, communication is vital so ensure you have a direct line to your agent.

References will provide reassurance regarding the tenant’s affordability, provide a credit rating, and offer peace of mind from their previous landlord or agent. Any concerns will be brought to your attention and in some cases, a guarantor might be recommended. This is where you can enquire about Rent Guarantee. Once you’re happy to proceed, then a move in date is set and the paperwork drawn up. Various documents and certificates will be requested from you at this stage. Ensure you’re prepared so that your tenant/s can move into their new home without delay.


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