- Property owners often look back wistfully and say “If only…”
- There are 3 major things you can do to reduce the chances of that being you
How many times have you heard a residential property owner or investor say “I wish I had done it that way”?
Probably quite a few times.
Perhaps you own a property or a portfolio yourself and have said the same thing or something similar.
That would come as no surprise. In the world of property there is no shortage of people who in relation to one or more of their properties have failed to do the right thing, took a wrong turn or reached the wrong decision.
Doing the wrong thing can cause significant financial loss or reduction of income or profits.
This blog looks at 3 simple and fundamental things all property owners or landlords can do to minimise the risk of looking back with anger, regret or disappointment:
1. Don’t sell a property, leverage it to own another
2. When renting out a property, maximise the rental income
3. Never ignore property laws, rules or regulations
1. Don’t sell a property leverage it to own another
Unless you absolutely need to sell, instead of selling a property – your home or an investment property – look to remortgage and keep it, using part of the remortgage funds as the deposit or down payment for another property.
That way you can leverage one property to own another.
If you are a homeowner this is a great way to add your first buy-to-let property. If you are an investor, you can use the strategy to add another unit to your portfolio.
You will only be able to use this method if you have sufficient equity in the property you are refinancing. If you don’t, you can simply delay the refinancing until you do.
Provided you structure the arrangement correctly, and do your calculations accurately so that you safely afford both properties, you can readily turn one property into two – benefitting doubly from any subsequent increase in property prices.
That way you will not be looking back thinking: “I can’t believe how much that property is worth now…If only I had kept it”.
2. When renting out a property maximise the rental income
A lot of property landlords or investors are effectively throwing money down the drain by failing to maximise their rent.
Inertia often affects landlords, who can go years without increasing rents.
Sometimes this is a conscious and reasoned choice – with the landlord not wanting to run the risk of the tenant upping and going once informed of the intended rent increase.
Landlords may conclude that the cost of getting a new tenant and a potential rent void period are likely to exceed the extra rent they can get.
These and other arguments have some merit. However if as a landlord you allow many years to pass without a rent increase, you are allowing your rental income to be eaten away by inflation – which has been running at close to 3% per year on average since 2000.
If you charge £150 too little a month, over a 5 year period that equates to a loss in rent of £9,000. If you are doing the same with several properties, you could – all things taken into consideration – be depriving yourself of a huge amount of money.
Another aspect to maximising your rent is to select the type of letting which will give you the most income.
Renting your property as a “single let” to a person or family may generate significantly less rent than say renting it out as a HMO to students or young professionals.
You may be able to secure an even better rental income if you rent out your property as serviced accommodation or holiday lets.
These niche ways of letting out your property may not be suitable for you or your property once you have thoroughly looked into the pros and cons.
However you should consider them with care, in line with good business practice of maximising rental income, as well as a foil to inflation and rising prices/costs.
You are unlikely to want to look back and find you have lost tens of thousands of pounds in lost rental income.
3. Never ignore property laws rules or regulations
The third must-do thing for all wise property landlords or owners is never to flout the law or risk its wrath.
As a landlord, breaking the rules can cost you dearly in fines or punishment.
It is tempting to ignore laws, rules or regulations – especially where they involve significant time and expense – such as making a house HMO compliant in line with the stringent requirements of the local authority.
Non-compliance with legal requirements can hit you in the pocket severely. For instance:
- Failure to duly protect a rent deposit can lead to a landlord being required to pay the tenant a financial penalty of between one and three times the amount of the deposit
- Failure to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can lead to a fine of up to £5,000
- Failure to provide a gas safety certificate where required can lead to a fine of up to £6,000.
Failure to comply with some of the main regulations – notably the deposit protection rules – can also make it harder for you to get your property back if court proceedings are necessary.
There is such a large number of rules imposed on landlords and investors in the private rental sector, it is not hard to breach one or two of them without even knowing.
The smart thing to do includes:
- Buying one or two books dealing with the regulations you must comply with
- Registering with a landlord trade association such as the RLA (Residential Landlord Association) or the NLA (National Landlord Association)
- Regularly attending property meet-ups
- Reading property blogs
- Listening to property podcasts and watching property videos
- Educating yourself on property matters in general.
If as a property owner or investor you ever look back and say “If only…”, you will have messed up badly or done something wrong.
It is something you don’t want to have to do.
Give yourself a good chance of not having to look back by focussing on the “3 super smart property moves” discussed in this blog.
They are not the only super smart property moves, but actioning them diligently is a first rate start.
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Have you ever looked back on a property matter and said “if only”? If you don’t mind sharing, what was the matter and how were you affected?
You may also find the following blogs useful:
Reclaiming your time from social media (taking back what is yours)
Think like a property millionaire (the millionaire mindset of property investors)
Contrarians rule always (the power and success of contrarian thinking)
Plug into people power to succeed (channel the strength of others to excel)
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Rebel Property Coach
My website is: www.rebelpropertycoach.com