The buy-to-let property investment sector is buoyant right now, with new developments coming onto the market all the time and up-and-coming locations seeing unprecedented interest from potential investors. Whether you already have a thriving buy-to-let portfolio or are just starting out, here are some ways to make the most of the phenomenon over the summer months.
Recent figures from the UK Office for National Statistics show a rising trend in holiday lets, up from comparative figures in 2016/17. At the same time, landlords are being hit with more stringent tax reforms, such as the removal of mortgage interest relief and tighter rules around borrowing. Switching the target audience for your empty rental properties located in popular tourist areas to short-term holiday lets could help maximise your property’s earning potential over the summer months for very little effort on your part. Due to a weaker pound and worries over Brexit, people in the UK are holidaying ‘at home’ more and more, thus creating more demand for your newly-reassigned summer holiday let.
Summer spruce up
While shorter-term holiday lets can help bring in a lucrative seasonal income, they will also inevitably create more work and maintenance costs for landlords. Early summer is a perfect time to assess your buy-to-let properties for any damage that needs to be repaired, as well as any decorative work needing doing to spruce up its appearance. Check especially that exterior walls, fences, outhouses, paths etc. are all in good order and give the garden some attention too. Once that is done and your property is looking at its best, it could be a good time to take some photos for marketing purposes after the summer sun has faded and the light is not so flattering.
Landlords of student tenants will be all too familiar with the academic timetables that see students depart from rental properties in droves as soon as exams are over, leaving empty properties scattered across prime university and college hotspots. All is not lost, however, and there is no reason why your buy-to-let property should stand empty all summer. Some students prefer to carry on paying rent so that they can access their term-time home even after the studying stops. Many universities and colleges run short summer courses, often for foreign visitors who will be looking for a temporary home. Talk to your local education providers to get your property added to a list of short-term seasonal student lets.
If the summer is a slow time and you cannot, or do not wish to take advantage of short-term holidays or student lets, then take the opportunity to conduct a summertime financial ‘detox’ to see where you could be saving money on costs and maximising your rental earnings. Are you happy with your landlord insurance? Legal support? Letting agency fees? Mortgage terms? Make an appointment with a financial advisor now to see how you can use the summer to prepare for your most
profitable autumn and winter yet and to plan further ahead for ongoing success into 2019.