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What do you need to know to be a full-time landlord?

What do you need to know to be a full-time landlord?

The majority of student accommodation landlords choose to use a professional lettings and management agency to rent out their property and then take care of both the tenancy arrangements and the ongoing maintenance.

This is what most landlords prefer for obvious reasons; running a tenancy is a serious commitment in time, energy and money which can end up being more stressful than it is worth. Why not let a professional agency take care of everything for what is, at the end of the day, a minimal fee?

However, some landlords prefer to be hands on and take responsibility for letting a managing a property themselves. If you are considering going down this route and quitting your job to become a full-time landlord there are a few simple steps which will help you make it a success.

The first and arguably most important step is to come up with a proper plan. If your only income is going to be from buy to let property then you need to think ahead from the beginning. Do you want to have enough property income that you can live a normal life or is the plan to keep expanding a portfolio to the point where you can retire early? If so, at what age are you planning to retire? The job of being a full-time landlord has many aspects and these are amongst the most important as they will affect how much property you buy and what type you are after.

The second important task is related to the first and should be done at the beginning; it is important to identify your ideal tenant before purchasing a property, for instance whether you are looking for a long- or short-term lease. For anyone looking for stability it is hard to look past student accommodation as a buy to let property investment option. Each year you will have a ready-made pool of tenants and, as long as you choose location wisely, it is likely that you will not experience void periods and the consequent loss of income.

Related to the type of tenant you are looking for is the degree to which you must furnish your property. If you are letting a large home to a family or group of young professionals then you will need to dress the home to a high standard. Upmarket fixtures and fittings will be necessary, along with extensive furnishings in all rooms. All of this will cost a lot of money and needs to be taken into account when investing. Conversely, if you purchase a student apartment then you will not have to furnish it to either the same extent or the same standard. Students are unlikely to own any furniture so you will have to provide the basics, but you can mostly leave the property as more of a ‘blank canvas’ for the student tenant to add their own flourishes to.

The final thing to bear in mind if you are not using a lettings and management agent is that you must keep up to date with all the relevant rules and regulations. This could be anything from gas safety to furnishing laws, and they will differ depending on whether the property is residential or student accommodation. Overall, this tends to be easier to stay on top of with student accommodation thanks to its relative simplicity.

Lettings and management agencies save a lot of time and effort for a landlord, but if you are looking to do the job full-time and make it your sole focus then it is certainly possible as long as you prepare properly. If you are planning to take this step and strike out on your own then student accommodation is a good option for stability and ease. Enquire today for more information on how to invest!