As Landlords it is fair to say that the governments attention has been diverted away from us on to the pandemic and soon to be Brexit, yes remember that we are exiting the EU this year.
But we do have one new factor, COVID-19. A factor that no one could foresee, and it has impacted on everyone at some point and in some way and it is here to stay, at least for some time yet and the question is “How are you going to live with it?”.
How are you going to recover those arrears that tenants have accumulated? Handling viewings / inspections is still a concern – Do you want a physical viewing in a small area with someone else breathing over you? How do you sign your documentation? Do you share a pen or lick your fingers before you turn the page?
Before we panic though it is important to remember the fundamentals of property investing will never go out of fashion with rental demand across the UK expected to continue to exceed supply long into the future. The recent stamp duty changes are welcome from government and maybe we’ll see more – but don’t hold your breath.
So as landlords it’s time to batten down the hatches and focus a little more on each area that can improve our returns.
- Profits – Don’t miss rent review opportunities, review your debt to ensure you’re not overpaying. Consider HMO, short term or holiday let strategies.
- Maintain standards – constant monitoring of your properties to ensure maintenance issues don’t end up with you being fined or losing tenants. Indeed, invest in your properties to ensure you’ve got a great offer that keeps your tenants happy.
- Value your time! – Work effectively, keep good records, can you use technology to help?
If you are looking at expanding your portfolio, make sure you are correctly comparing properties to get the best possible return on investment. It’s important to model this and consider the total cost of ownership of your investment that includes all your purchase costs, refurbishment alongside ongoing cash flow taking into account voids and all reasonable costs. Consider realistic property price appreciation and rent increases over the period.
If you are considering moving to a digital option then this might help, check out Rent Chief we have tools that will help you optimise your investment, calculate true returns of your properties. Manage tenants more effectively and access to better deals on your financial services. We offer a free version for life for any landlord with less than 5 properties and the paid version is currently free for new users for 6 months.