Top tips to help landlords plan ahead for 2018
  1. Visiting times

Inspections play an important part in any landlord's calendar. When it comes to protecting your property investment this is a key component. At Simple Estate Agents we arrange 2 property visits per property and in some cases with issues three. This helps highlights any issues or things the tenant can do better to keep the up keep of the property, before it turns into a bigger issue when they vacate.

  1. Maintenance management

Like anything regular maintenance is required. Whether its your gas boiler having an annual service or clearing out the gutters when the weather is dry to stop it causing an issue when it rains.

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.”

  1. Financial thoughts

Make sure your finances add up in 2018

Speaking to your mortgage provider 4 months before your current product expires is good practice, as it stops you from going on your mortgage providers standard variable rate which can be considerably higher.

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.

  1. Portfolio plan

It's 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.”

  1. Tenant talk

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

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.”

  1. 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.