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1 Buy to Let guide. Orchards

2 Your guide to buy to let This residential buy to let overview is brought to you by Orchards. One of Bedfordshires most experienced lettings agents. The information within is to be used as guidance only, Orchards or any other contributors to this document cannot be held liable for any information that is incorrect, Independent legal advice should be sought prior to making a property purchase. Please remember the value of investments can go up as well as down. 2

3 What is Buy to Let? Buy-to-let refers to the purchase of a property specifically to let out. For many years landlords have invested in property to be let for profit, although historically this has been fraught with issues as tenants were hard to evict, rent levels were comparatively low and buy to let mortgage finance was extremely hard to find. In the late 80s the Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement was introduced to balance the rights of landlords and tenants. Since then lenders have been more willing to provide finance and this has lead to the growth of the residential buy to let market we know today. Why Buy To Let? Residential buy to let has proved very popular, being an investment that you can actually see and touch. It can provide both income (the rent) and growth (capital appreciation) Capital appreciation in property during the past 25 years has exceeded just about any other investment, particularly in the south east of England Property is an excellent long-term investment. However, fluctuations in the market and the delays inevitable in selling a property make it an unsuitable choice for anyone needing short-term returns, or who might need to access the money tied up in a house quickly. Many people invest in a buy to let property as a pension - the rent each month can be used to supplement your retirement income, or the property can be sold and the proceeds used as a nest-egg. 3

4 Will I make money? The return on your investment Your return should be judged over the medium to long term. A common way of measuring return is to calculate the percentage yield. Percentage yield is the income shown as a percentage of the capital investment. Most property investments provide a higher yield than that available in banks. However percentage yields only take into consideration the rental income and not capital appreciation. Capital appreciation can be a significant part of your potential profit. Although choosing the correct investment is essential. Yield The rental yield is the yearly income achieved through rents versus the purchase price (or value) of the investment. Example. Purchase price of a property 210,000, it was let for 850pcm. 850 (rent) x 12 (months) = 10,200 (rent per annum). You divide the rent buy the property value. 10,200 / 210,000 = 4.86%. That is the gross yield on your investment. Capital Appreciation The increase in value (Capital) of a property from the time it was purchased. Research reveals that house prices have soared by % during the past 20 years. Figures from Nationwide show that the cost of the average home had risen from just 9,767 in 1973 to 186,544 by the second quater of House prices have risen significantly faster than retail prices over the same period, which have increased by 115% since If the effects of inflation are stripped out, house prices have increased by 89% in real terms during the last 20 years. 4

5 Who rents and why? Demand for rented property is at an all time high from young people looking to rent for the first time, professionals moving around with work or growing families looking for more space. Tenants range in age and wealth & therefore the types of properties they require differ to. What type of property do tenants go for? There are a number of must haves for all tenants. Clean and well maintained accommodation. Typically tenants prefer modern properties or character properties that have been modernised to a high standard. A shower In the bathroom is a must. Generally tenants like to be close to good local amenities and transport links. Furnished or Unfurnished? Most tenants prefer properties unfurnished with white goods only (Cooker, fridge and washing machine). Furnished properties are tougher to rent as requirements change from tenant to tenant. 5

6 The cost of buying investment property The purchase price Stamp Duty Solicitors Fees Mortgage costs, arrangement fees, brokers fees Any cost of refurbishments Insurance Stamp Duty Purchase price/lease premium or transfer value sdlt rate Up to 125, Zero Over 125,000 to 250, % Over 250,000 to 500, % Over 500,000 to 1 million % Over 1 million to 2 million % Over 2 million from 22 March % Over 2 million (purchased by certain persons including corporate bodies) from 21 March % 6

7 Buy to let mortgages Most lenders have products specifically tailored for purchasers looking to purchase a buy to let property. The lending criteria is generally geared to rental income, but most lenders will also require proof of income. Deposits are currently typically around 20 to 25%. That said, there are some excellent deals to be had. In our opinion independent mortgage advice is essential. Tax Considerations All rental income is liable for tax at your normal rate, but you can offset certain expense elements. Such as: Mortgage Interest Payments Agents Fees / Management Fees Ongoing Repair & Maintenance Insurance Accountancy Fees Service Charges & Ground Rent (Leasehold Properties) Talk to Orchards for a Professional Advisor Recommendation Overseas Landlords The Non-resident Landlord Scheme If you have rental property in the UK but your usual home is outside the UK, your tenants or the letting agents you use will need to operate the Non-resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme. They need to deduct basic rate tax from rental income before they pass it onto you. You can set this tax off against your own tax bill at the end of the year. Non-resident landlords who are eligible can apply at any time for approval to receive their UK rental income with no tax deducted. This includes applying before they have left the UK or before the letting has started. Your agent can help you apply for the rent to be received without paying tax by completing an NRL1 form. 7

8 We manage so you don t have to Orchards fully trained property management department manage hundreds of properties on behalf of landlords in Bedfordshire and around the world Only you know how much time you have to deal with tenants phone calls and the resulting work. Tenants prefer managed property These days more and more tenants request managed property. It allows a more professional service by removing any emotion from both sides. Our comprehensive service includes rent collection, administration handling and dealing with any maintenance issues. 8

9 Legals CONSENT TO LET Before letting your property the following should be considered Consent must be obtained from your lender Insurance companies must be notified Permission must be obtained from the freeholder (leasehold properties only) If jointly owned co-owners must be named on the terms of business and the tenancy agreement. TENANCY AGREEMENT A tenancy agreement is a written agreement that sets out the terms of a tenancy and the rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant. It is important to select the correct type of tenancy agreement to ensure that you are properly protected while letting your property. Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) This agreement should be used where The rent is below 100,000 per annum The period is from 6 months up to 3 years The tenant is an individual or a group of individuals rather than a company. An AST is the most common type of agreement and provides the tenant with certain types of protection under the housing act 1988 as amdended, yet still allows the landlord to regain possession of the property by serving two months notice (subject to the terms of the agreement) CONTRACTUAL TENANCY This agreement should be used where: The rent exceeds 100,000 per annum The tenant is an individual or a group of individuals or a company. The tenant is not given any additional statutory protection and both parties are bound only by the terms of the written agreement. SHORT TERM LETTING AGREEMENT This agreement should be used where the tenancy is for a period of up to 6 months. The tenant is not given any additional statutory protection and both parties are bound only by the terms of the written agreement. SAFETY REGULATIONS As a landlord there are certain safety regulations to which you have to adhere before letting your property. Compliance will ensure that your property is safe for the tenant to live in. GAS SAFETY The gas safety regulations 1998 require that any gas appliances in a property are inspected annually to ensure they comply with the regulations. These checks must be done by a gas safe registered engineer. Orchards can arrange this for you if required. ELECTRICAL SAFETY The electrical safety regulations 1994 require that electrical installations - like fixed wiring - are safe and well maintained. Any electrical appliances you supply to tenants - like cookers and kettles - should be safe for them to use. FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS REGULATIONS. All furniture must comply with the provisions of the furniture and furnishing regulations 1988 and the subsequent amendments to that act, prior to the property being let. The regulations apply to sofas, beds, bed heads, covers to furniture, cushions and pillows, along with other items. They do not apply to curtains, carpets, bed linen or duvets. Furniture manufactured prior to 1950 is exempt. Furniture manufactured from 1988 must have the relevant safety labels. For further guidance visit the office of public sector information website at SMOKE ALARMS Building regulations require that all properties built since June 1992 are fitted with mains link smoke alarms on each floor. We strongly recommend fitting smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC) As a landlord you will be required to obtain an EPC, which assesses the energy performance of your property. Your self and your agent must make all reasonable efforts to obtain the EPC within 7 days of marketing the property. The EPC must be made available no later than 28 days from the marketing beginning. This certificate will be valid for ten years. Orchards can arrange this for you if required. INVENTORY An inventory of the contents and condition of your property is usually produced prior to the commencement of the tenancy. This document is often done with photographs as well as in writing. THE DEPOSIT For your peace of mind Orchards will hold a tenancy deposit usually equivalent to 1.5 x the monthly rent. This can be used at the end of the tenancy for unpaid rent or damage to the property. Where the tenancy is an AST Orchards can hold this deposit in accordance to the housing act legislation. TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME For all assured shorthold tenancies the tenants deposit should be registered with a recognised deposit protection scheme within 30 days. Orchards currently use The Dispute Service. Orchards will hold all managed properties deposits and also offer this services to let only landlords if required. TAX ON RENT INCOME All income arising from property in the UK is taxable, regardless of the tax status of the landlord. Income tax is payable on the profit generated by the letting of your property so you must declare your rental income to HM Revenue & Customs. However certain deductible allowances as follows can be used to minimise your tax liability. Mortgage Interest Orchards fees Insurance, ground rent and service charges Legal and accounting costs Cost of repairs, redecoration and maintenance We do recommend that you speak to a qualified accountant. OVERSEAS LANDLORDS Even if you live outside the UK, under the income tax and corporation taxes act 1988 and taxation of income from land (Non Residents) regulations 1995, you are still liable to pay UK tax on rent received in the UK. Orchards are obliged by law to deduct tax at the appropriate rate unless they have authorisation from them to pay the income to you without deduction. If you are going to living outside the UK while the property is let, you should fill in the appropriate form (Either NRL1 for individuals or NRL2 for companies) Orchards can supply the form if required or it can be downloaded from 9

10 Orchards Property Investment Consultancy Orchards are experts in the sourcing, purchasing and lettings of investment property. We can help you choose the correct investment and if required can be retained to search for an investment property that is not marketed by Orchards. We would act as your buying agent and will be able to negotiate the very best purchase price, put you in touch with a broker to arrange the mortgage and a solicitor to do the conveyancing. Our fees are charged at 1% of the purchase price. If you have already identified or own an investment property. Orchards can advise on work required prior to letting, a recommended asking price, current market conditions and all fees involved. Our advice in this instance is FREE! Please contact Julian French on or

11 Tenant Magnet Orchards consistently take on more properties in Mid Bedfordshire than any other agent. Due to our high profile marketing we attract hunderds of new, professional tenants, ready and willing to pay top market rent We quite literally are a magnet to tenants. visit to discover why tenants love us. 11

12 LET We dont just put your property on the market WE LET IT The Clock House, Bedford Street, Ampthill, MK45 2NB

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