Buy to let
Buying a property to let and becoming a landlord can be an exciting investment step, whether you plan just to have one property or to build up a portfolio.
Advice on becoming a landlord
Heywoods is a top local agent in rentals and sales and an ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) registered letting agent so we can help you through the process of acquiring property to rent out with our landlord services:
- No-obligation advice for new landlords on buying to let and the local rental market from our experienced local lettings valuers.
- The broadest range of local properties for you to choose from.
- Access to competitive buy-to-let mortgages through our mortgage service.
- Legal advice and services from our conveyancing team.
- An experienced team of lettings specialists to find the right tenant for you.
- Realistic advice on how to determine the rental value of a house.
- Our tried and tested Homefinder service for clients in the rental market.
- Several levels of professional property management to suit your circumstances.
The local rental market
Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent boast a lively rental market, thanks in part to its student population and teaching hospital as well as the large businesses that are based in the area. As ARLA-registered estate agents, we understand the local rental market and can help you find suitable property, determine a fair rental value and we are one of Newcastle-under-Lyme's foremost property rental management companies. Our unique area guides give an idea of the Newcastle-under-Lyme lettings market.
Buyer's guide for new landlords
The process for buying an investment property is similar to that of buying a home but there are some differences. It can be daunting but here at Heywoods we offer landlords help and advice to make it as stress-free as possible. Check out our handy guide so you know what to expect and give us a call to answer any questions.
What can you afford?
Investing in property is a big decision and it’s important to understand the rental value - how much rent tenants will be prepared to pay - of any property you are looking to buy so that you can calculate the rental yield - how much money you make after costs. Factor in all the costs and keep money back as contingency. Review your finances; remember to include in your budget the surveyor, mortgage and legal fees and stamp duty (see current rates here) as well as all your outgoings like property management fees and income tax, and keep money aside for property maintenance and any renovations.
Register with Heywoods for a range of great local properties
As the lettings agents who sells more property in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area than any other agent register with us for the greatest range of properties that are ideal for rental.
We can then send you details of properties which meet your criteria as soon they come onto the market. This is sometimes before they are advertised on the internet – so registering with us can get you ahead of the game!
Once you see a property you like, please call us with any questions or to book in a viewing.
Get the finances sorted early
Assuming that you need to get a mortgage, now is the time to get one agreed. At Heywoods we have a team of mortgage advisors who specialise in buy-to-let mortgages and can make this process simple. You can view properties while your mortgage is being agreed but you will be in a stronger position to make an offer once an agreement is in place.
It is important when viewing property to consider the location – whether there is a good rental market and what it is; the condition of the property (Heywoods can advise you on safety standards required of rental properties); whether the property is a likely to gain value over the long term.
When you arrange a viewing, a member of our team will be on hand to answer any questions you have.
Every property has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating. This is required when a property is built, sold or let. It contains information about the property’s energy use and costs and recommendations about how to reduce the energy use and save money. A property's rating is based on such factors as loft insulation, double glazing, boiler age, efficiency etc and more from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for ten years. The level of energy efficiency of your property will affect your tenants' energy bills and there are minimum standards to be met in rental properties.
Tenants in situ
Some properties go onto the market with tenants in situ. This can be helpful as you will know the rental value of the property and you will have a rental income as soon as the purchase in complete.
Make an informed offer
Once you’ve made a choice, it’s a good idea to discuss with us (as the selling agent) the offer you’d like to make; we will have an understanding of the seller’s position and the current local market.
Before we put a potential buyer’s offer to a seller, we need to be sure you are able to finance the purchase:
if you need a mortgage, we’ll ask to see an Agreement in Principle (AIP) document from your mortgage lender
if you are a cash buyer (buying without a mortgage) we’ll need evidence that the funds are available.
Any offer you make will be considered taking into account the offer amount, whether there are any other offers from potential buyers and what finances you have in place. Your branch contact at Heywoods can advise you on the situation, help you make decisions and mediate between you and the seller.
Ways to finance an investment property differ to those for a property you plan to live in. Click here for more information on buy to-let-mortgages.
Engaging a solicitor
Once an agreement is made, instruct a solicitor to look after the purchase of your property (this is called conveyancing). Heywoods offers this service to those buying to let, helping to smooth the process.
Commission an appropriate survey
Ask a surveyor to inspect the property you are buying. Your mortgage lender will want the surveyor to confirm the value of the property, and it is sensible to have the condition of the property checked for your own peace of mind. There are several levels of survey available and which you choose will depend on the age and apparent condition of the property. Your surveyor will be able to advise you on this and will discuss the contents of the survey with you so that you understand any potential problems. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to decide whether to continue with the purchase.
Stay in the loop
Once your survey has been carried out and finances are agreed, your solicitor will do all the checks to make sure the sale progresses smoothly. Your Heywoods branch contact will deal with the purchase of your property by liaising with your buyer, surveyors, solicitor and mortgage broker and will stay in touch with you so that you know what is going on and any issues can be resolved quickly. This ensures the sale progresses smoothly.
Dates are agreed for exchange and completion once contracts are signed and your deposit is paid. This can be around 20 per cent or more of the purchase price.
Exchange is legally binding and happens when both sides’ solicitors agree by phone they can do so. Your solicitor informs all parties when contracts have been exchanged.
On completion day (usually a couple of weeks after the exchange of contracts), in liaison with your Heywoods contact, your solicitor will arrange for fee payments, the transfer of deeds and, of course, payment for the property. Once the transfers are made, you can have access to the property and, if the property meets the required standards, we can begin looking for a tenant.
Help to get your property up to standard
If your property needs any repairs or improvements, why not keep it simple and use our handyman service? We can arrange and coordinate carefully chosen tradesmen, ensuring your tenant can move in as soon as possible.
Heywoods offers several levels of professional property management services. Our specialist lettings team can help you decide the level of landlord services to choose. Once this has been agreed you can sit back, safe in the knowledge that Heywoods has it covered.