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To ask for your experience as a buy-to-let landlord?

256 replies

iPaid · 03/09/2015 15:55

I'm thinking of buying a house or two and renting them out to hopefully fund my retirement in 15 years or so.

Would appreciate any advice or sharing of experience - good and bad!

OP posts:

TheAnswerIsYes · 03/09/2015 17:00

It's a good way of making money. I have rental properties and I semi retired a few years ago age 35 as the profit is so good from them. The values of them have gone up too so when I want to fully retire (probably 50-55) I could sell them for a huge profit and live off that if I don't want to be a landlord anymore.

It can be a bit of hassle if you get a bad tenant but they are rare and I've never had much trouble.

I would suggest getting out and buying as many as you can as soon as possible as prices are only going up.


snoozeyoulose · 03/09/2015 19:10

My dp rents out a property and he would advise you to manage it yourself rather than pay management fees if you've got one property. He paid managements fees to an estate agent once and they dragged their feet on finding tenants. He's done it quicker himself on gumtree. Don't be a push over either. When you're owed money then make sure you get it from your tenants. On the flip side, be the kind of landlord that fixes problems quickly. Try to build a network of trades people who'll help you out if you need said problems fixed quickly. Don't rip people off. Charge what rent you believe the property is worth but don't over charge. My dp currently has a "dss" person renting and contrary to popular belief the house is kept in tip top condition by her so perhaps don't rule out various types of renters! Hope this helps and good luck!!


londonrach · 03/09/2015 19:12

Sadly snakes her ahead and signs. Another two properties off the market....


devafever · 03/09/2015 19:18

Read up on the taxation changes in the last budget.
Buy-to-Let is finished.


saltlakecity · 03/09/2015 19:20

That might be a problem in some parts of the country Londonrach but not everywhere. In my area of my town there must be around 20 houses for sale in only a few nearby streets. Tons of houses for sale in my whole town and most local towns around here. Don't judge the OP. She doesn't have to feel apologetic for being able to buy properties to rent out.


vaticancameos · 03/09/2015 19:21

Strongly suggest you read up carefully on your legal obligations. Tenants are not putting up with crap landlords any more.


vulgarbunting · 03/09/2015 19:27

Agree with londonrach. Do not use another family's security to generate profit. It is utterly immoral.


MrsToddsShortcut · 03/09/2015 19:29

Totally understand you wanting to do this as a retirement nest egg, but just perhaps be a bit sensitive about discussing the enormous profits to be made; my private rental uses up 86% of my salary. My rent is sky high (SE London) and as a lone parent with disabled kids, it's bloody hard and I can't move as no agency will take housing benefit.

Good luck with your venture (genuinely) but be responsible about how you do it, and just be aware that one person's profit is another persons slide into poverty.


InternationalEspionage · 03/09/2015 19:33

I'd advise you do a very detailed balance sheet which includes impact of recent tax changes (which are explicitly designed to financially discourage further investment in BTL).

Compare benefits with new pension rules of your aim is to fund retirement...

And most importantly, research your area. There are several areas of London where if you'd entered BTL summer 2014 or so....well you'd be crying values down, income reduced by tax changes and a glut of new build 2 bed flats coming on the market over the next 24 months. Stamp duty and increasing strength of sterling are not just biting the prime segment; effects are distributed down to about 700k price point.

Wage growth figures and general economic data just out tell a more accurate picture of tenants ability to pay than usual Tory hype, that's for sure. On the upside, maybe interest rates will stay low for longer, based on that.

In summary, BTL is not the meal ticket it used to be by any means. A thoroughly researched financial analysis is required to determine whether it's right for you, based on your funds, life objectives and area of investment interest.

P.s. am ex btl landlord, did v well out of it, but the numbers just don't add up any more for London in my area of interest (zone 1)...Good luck!


badgeroncaffeine · 03/09/2015 19:34

In the past it's been very easy money. You never know for the future, but there's a good chance it will continue to be.


InternationalEspionage · 03/09/2015 19:37

To add, one of the reasons I did well as a landlord is that I treated my tenants like gold. I also charged slightly below market rent, authorised maintenance requests within 24 hours and never tried to screw on deposits....

These IMHO are the karmic laws of good landlords.


Kennington · 03/09/2015 19:38

I have a c London house I was given I rent out :
You have to be a good landlord and this costs money
The tax is significant
You need a good extensive list of workman
It ismt easy money and tenants don't put up with rubbish landlords anymore- you can easily run risks with local councils and the Internet reviews if you are unreasonable


Oysterbabe · 03/09/2015 19:39

Place marking. We're looking for our first buy to let at the moment too.


winchester1 · 03/09/2015 19:44

I've one property no mortgage and great tenants tbh id much rather just have more shares. The tax returns, repairs etc for pretty much the same profit as I get on managed funds. I've had the property 10yrs with no discernable increase in value or rent.
Unfortunately its not sellable as everyone's priced out the bloody market. I hope there is a btl crash tbh.


ceyes03 · 03/09/2015 19:45

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badgeroncaffeine · 03/09/2015 19:49

Not really true ceyes. You could say that people living on their own in a 10 bedroom mansion isn't right when other people live 6 to a 2 bedroom house. It's the system we have. Better people have somewhere to rent than properties lying empty!


Oysterbabe · 03/09/2015 19:51

That's a bit harsh. Plenty of people want to rent, my area is packed with students. Of course there are terrible landlords but there are good ones too.


londonrach · 03/09/2015 19:51

Hugs winchester. Im a long term renter who has lost my chance of buying as each time we offer a buy to letter steals my home to be. Its a nasty market making money out of misery. I like others are hoping the new rules will help us first time owner occupiers.


SaucyJack · 03/09/2015 19:54

Is there not a more socially conscious way you can fund your own retirement?


TwoTwentyGowerRoad · 03/09/2015 19:55

I can't really under stand the view of BTL LL's causing others to not be able to buy houses. Councils don't build enough so where would all these people be without private LLs? Surely you can either afford to buy or you can't. who owns what is irrelevant surely? For the first time this year the private renting sector outstrips in numbers the public (council/housing assoc) lettings. Without a BTL LL, I would be homeless.


NadiaWadia · 03/09/2015 19:57

But they wouldn't be lying empty would they, badger? They would be sold (to a home owner hopefully). At the moment, don't buy-to-lettters have a massive unfair advantage over would-be owner-occupiers, in that they can get an interest only mortgage, which was stopped for owner occupiers some time ago.

People who were lucky enough to have been of house-buying age when properties were affordable, or who come from wealthy families, are buying up properties and forcing prices up for everyone. It is immoral. Homes are a scare commodity and they are greedily taking more than their fair share.


badgeroncaffeine · 03/09/2015 19:58

If it's legal (as this is) then I'm fine with it. If you don't do it, others will!


londonrach · 03/09/2015 20:00

Twotwenty..they push the house prices up, they buy so many they get told about properties before they hit the market. We got told by one ea we should pay them £20 to be put on a special list so knowing about a house before its put on righmove. As for letting we overdue a rent cap in this country. Renting in Europe is alot more secure than in the uk.


londonrach · 03/09/2015 20:01

As badger says


InternationalEspionage · 03/09/2015 20:02

They won't if it no longer makes financial sense to do so...landlords are trying to leave central London in droves and so prices are falling in some areas already, albeit slowly to start with..full tax changes have couple years to kick in. It's as simple as that.

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