AN ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST BEFORE YOU “BUY TO LET”
At this time of year there are usually plenty of properties coming to the sales market, many offering enormous “Buy To Let” potential.
Buying a property to let out usually involves a hefty financial commitment on the part of the Landlord. Whilst the investment returns can be attractive, major maintenance issues arising can be both frustrating and hugely expensive to remedy. Before you commit to buying, pay particular attention to what could be the COSTLIEST ASPECTS OF REPAIR either now or in the future.
First of all, THE ROOF COVERING. Has it been replaced? Can you see daylight from the roof space? Don’t forget, if it is a traditional terraced house, the original slate covering could be 100 years old! A new roof can cost thousands.
Next, think about the DAMP PROOF COURSE. Is it original to the build or has it been replaced? If there are signs of rising damp it is costly to reinject silicone damp proof protection and almost impossible to do whilst tenants are living there so have it checked out thoroughly first.
Thirdly, THE HEATING SYSTEM. If the current boiler is old? has it been serviced regularly? Are spare parts still available if it breaks down? If the radiators and pipework are a similar age, chances are it’ll all need replacing before too long. A new system could be £3,000 to £4,000, another costly exercise, so check the history.
Lastly, THE ELECTRICAL WIRING AND FUSE BOARD. If the fuse board is “trip switched protected” it’s a good start but still not necessarily safe. Old “Bakelite” fuse boards mean the installation hasn’t been upgraded for years. Whilst periodic electric certification isn’t mandatory at the moment, it is coming soon so budget for it now and get it certified before your tenants move in.