independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Five key tips on the road to becoming a perfect landlord

Louise McBride

If you're considering snapping up cheap property and becoming a landlord, the British property investor and author Vicki Wusche has five tips worth following:

* Don't be swayed by other people – do your own research. Start with areas you know, and research property prices and the potential rent you could earn on properties in particular areas.

* Interest rates will rise – so ensure you can afford the mortgage repayments on the property when they do.

Calculate the cost of the mortgage at higher interest rates so you know where you stand at the start.

* Underestimate your returns. Assume that you won't have tenants for between two and three months a year – you will do better than this but be cautious with your figures and expectations.

Set aside about one-fifth of your rental income in the first year to cover the cost of repairs and maintenance.

* Constantly monitor and manage your property once it is let. Drainpipes and gutters cost only a few euro to repair and fix – but can cost thousands if left to leak on the property.

* Aim to provide a long-term home for tenants – as this will encourage them to stay in the property and ensure you get your rental income.

For example, a family will want a garden. And a family home near a school will ensure your tenants are happy and want to stay.

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