Top tips to help landlords plan ahead for 2018

Top tips to help landlords plan ahead for 2018

To stay ahead it's often important to think ahead so, as another year draws to a close, those helpful souls at Belvoir have compiled a list of tips to help you plan out your strategy for 2018.

1. Visiting times

Inspections play an important part in any landlord's calendar.

Vaughan Schofield, owner of Belvoir Wrexham, says: “Regular routine inspections are a must in order to protect your property and ensure the tenant is living within the terms of the Tenancy Agreement.

Pre-scheduling these at the beginning of the year can be useful. If they are not diarized in advance they have the potential to be overlooked or for the tenant to find them ill-timed and intrusive.

Advance planning will enable you to secure mutually convenient dates throughout the year, ensuring that both you and your tenant are present during these vital visits.

At Belvoir Wrexham we usually advise that inspections are carried out on a quarterly basis and prior written notice is given.”

2.  Maintenance management

"It's surprising how many landlords only have a reactive positioning to maintenance as far as their rental property is concerned,” says Vaughan.

“A car, for example, costs a fraction of what a property does and will usually depreciate in value, yet we carry out annual MOTs and services in order to maintain and protect it. A property is one of the biggest investments you'll make and it's important that its welfare is approached in a similar manner.

There needs to be a common sense assessment of what routine maintenance needs to be done at certain times of the year,” he continues.

Think seasonally about what will need addressing and when. Recently, for instance, we've had a cold snap which happens every year at approximately the same time so it's possible to plan ahead for this. Likewise, summer brings its own common maintenance concerns which can be planned for in advance.

Forward planning is also advantageous in that you will be able to secure the contractors of your choice plus, if your tenant is planning an extended holiday, it may be possible to coordinate your routine maintenance to coincide with this which will allow for unlimited access and minimise disruption for the tenant.”

3. Financial thoughts

Make sure your finances add up in 2018

Vaughn says: “It makes sense to keep track of any mortgages you may have. Something that may have been a good deal when you applied for your mortgage, for example, may not be so attractive once the initial discounted period has expired. Thoroughly research the market, know what's out there and be aware of your eligibility.

As part of your financial review it's also important to monitor the levels of rental return other properties are achieving in the area in which your property is located.

It's useful to keep an eye on this so you can ensure that your own property's rental price is moving with market forces and is fulfilling its full potential.

Regular small increases which are scheduled in advance are likely to be less disruptive to a tenant than a single unexpected large one.”

4. Portfolio plan

“Investing in property is a journey and if you're starting a portfolio (or growing one) in 2018 it's vital to start off with a defined idea of what you're looking to achieve,” says Vaughan. “Like any journey, if you set off without knowing your destination you'll very soon get lost... plus you'll never know when you actually get there.

It's also essential to have a timeline in terms of how and when you're going to acquire the next property, plus when you're likely to release each investment too.

Additionally, pre-preparing for portfolio expansion enables you to monitor your favoured residential areas in order for you to identify those properties that will give you the best yield and potential for capital growth.”

5.  Tenant talk

What are your tenant's plans for the year ahead?

“Having a relationship based on good communication is highly desirable and it enables you to work together with cooperation and understanding,” says Vaughan. “If you have a good relationship with your tenant it can be helpful for self-managing landlords to find out what their plans and aspirations are for 2018.

Is your tenant intending to stay on at the property? If not, when are they looking to leave?

Knowing answers to key questions such as these allows a landlord to pre-plan their marketing strategy and start remarketing the property at the earliest opportunity.

If your tenant is planning to leave the property in 2018, also find out the reason why. Often tenants move on because of a change in personal circumstances or relationship status but it's beneficial to make sure their move isn't motivated by issues with the property which you need to address.”

6.  Agent help

If you're thinking about placing your property in the hands of an agent or changing your current one in 2018 it's important to plan ahead.

When choosing or changing an agent research is key so advance planning is vital in order to allow adequate time to carry this out.

Look at online reviews, assessing the authenticity of these by the number and range of comments. Also find out if your chosen agents are members of any industry bodies, plus validate your findings.

Planning ahead allows you to thoroughly research a cross-section of agents and filter down your shortlist before each is approached saving valuable time, energy and resources.”

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Latest Comments

Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 09 Dec 2017

Linking professionalism to limited company borrowing is a flawed concept. Despite S24 etc., limited companies are the most tax inefficient way of running a property business and leave borrowers seriously...

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

It's normal. If you plan to buy a house in one of the most beautiful spots in the country you should pay a high price.

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

I think that the situation will be the same at December.

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Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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