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There are times when a buy to let property can appear to be an endless money pit. This is particularly true before a tenancy begins when refurbishment costs and energy performance certificate expenses are front loaded - before you’ve received any income - and also as on-going bills roll in.

But at we’re focused on helping self-managing landlords take the unnecessary expenses out of buy to let, so here’s our guide to other ways of cutting your costs.

Get a full and detailed inventory drawn up
When tenants move out one of the most common bones of contention (and costs for landlords) is the condition of an apartment and its furniture – but a highly detailed inventory with photographs will help prevent these types of costly disputes.

Ensure your tenants are fully referenced before they move
Tenants who have not been fully referenced are more likely to be those who have behaved inappropriately in the past and therefore are also more likely to damage your property or fall into rent arrears.

Get at least three quotes for all work done
It’s a simple truism – builders, electricians or plumbers who know they are bidding competitively for work will keep their costs to a minimum.

Consider students carefully
Why? Because they can make buildings cover expensive and difficult to secure. Insurance companies are reluctant to cover buy-to-let properties with students living in them and only a handful of specialists offer products.

Are you paying too much tax?
The biggest bill of the year for many landlords is their tax one but some do not fully offset their costs against tax. For example if you have a month in between tenancies when the property is empty and you have to pay the utility bills, then that cost can be offset against tax legitimately. Also, the way you arrange your mortgage (e.g. payment kept high to minimise profits) can influence how much income tax you will pay each year.

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By Simon Knock
21 Feb 2013

Categories: Buy to Let, Property Rentals



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