Top Tips for Struggling Buy to Let Investors

publication date: Nov 20, 2008
author/source: Kate Faulkner

If you bought your Buy to Let properties in the last few years you are probably having a bit of a worrying time. Unfortunately you are likely to have paid top wack for the properties, so their value would have fallen. You may even be in situation whereby there is an oversupply of rental properties and you are struggling to rent your property at a value that will cover your costs.

If you are in this situation, what you need to do is:-

1. Seek independent professional advice to evaluate your position.
2. Maximise your rental income and minimise your costs.
3. Generate additional income.

How to get Independent Advice for your Buy to Let Portfolio
There are two ways to seek independent advice. Firstly you can try to find a local Lettings Specialist such as Belvoir Lettings. They concentrate solely on letting properties and have no conflict of interest with trying to sell homes. They will have good experience and contacts, sometimes including special deals that can help to make more rental income than you could get on your own. This help may well be for free, or a small charge may be made.

Another way to get help is from an independent Buy to Let consultant who will be able to assess your circumstances and your portfolio's potential and create a strategy to help you
maximise your income, or off load the properties in the best way possible.

Maximise your Rental Income
This may sound obvious, but are your really maximising your income? Are you getting the right tenants? Could you rent out your property to longer term, higher paying tenants?
Ways that you can do this are by renting rooms individually rather than the property as a whole; doing up the property so that you can rent it at a higher value; working with
shorter term lets, it can be more risky, so seek professional letting expert advice, but it may mean you increase your rental income.

Minimise your Costs
Your biggest cost will be your mortgage - and that may well be what has risen and is causing you financial difficulty. Try if you can to renegotiate your mortgage and always be
on the look out for a better mortgage rate. Seek advice from an Independent Financial Advisor ideally one that has BTL properties themselves.

Look out for better insurance deals, but make sure you don't compromise on quality of cover AND make sure that you insure against a tenant not paying their rent/malicious damage. This could break your BTL investment if it happens, but costs only a little extra compared to the rest of your costs.

Other costs you can keep down are maintenance costs, by not letting the property get into disrepair in the first place - a stitch in time and all that. If you need to carry out work on
the property, make sure you do it well - and legally - so that you don't end up having to do it twice.

Try to negotiate with your letting agent, but think twice before you try to manage the properties yourself. How much will you really save? What if you don't get a tenant in, usually most agent's bills will be paid with just one extra month's rent and many should give you lower charges for EPCs, maintenance and insurance - so see if you are really saving anything at all.

Need help with a property problem? Why not call Designs on Property for independent help? You can contact us on 0845 838 1763 or email your question to


Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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