Whether you’ve been thinking about it and planning it for a long time, or you’ve just decided to become a buy-to-let landlord on a whim, it is important that you make sure you have all the right information before letting out to tenants. When looking at a property for the purposes of buy-to-let, much like looking at any property, you need to see what needs doing and what is in good condition if you want to let it out to tenants. In finding all this information out, you will need to request the services of a professional surveyor, who can help you.
But why a surveyor? Can I not get all this information from a viewing? Well yes and no. You might be able to identify some areas for improvement yourself and you may even notice some hidden defects, but without the help of a professional surveyor, you won’t have a clear idea of the costs needed to repair defects, whether or not anything else is affected by these defects and more. A surveyor provides a number of services designed to make your life as a buy-to-let investor much less stressful.
Minor Defects which can become Major Issues
A surveyor will be able to conduct an in depth analysis of the property in question listing any immediate defects or defects which may need repairing. If you are still planning on going ahead with the purchase, fixing these defects is essential as some smaller defects can only get worse as time goes on, leading to costly and time consuming repairs. It is better to get these issues ironed out as soon as possible in order to save on costs later on.
While local comparison websites can provide a rough estimate of a property’s value based on similar ones in the area, obtaining an accurate valuation from a surveyor is essential for precise insights. This becomes particularly crucial when considering renovations or repairs to increase the property’s value. Surveyors consider various factors such as supply and demand, the target tenant demographic, and the overall condition of the property to provide a comprehensive and accurate valuation. If you’re contemplating selling or renting out your property, a surveyor’s assessment will offer a more nuanced understanding, helping you make informed decisions. For those aiming to enhance property value through renovations, engaging with professionals like a flooring company for quality flooring or roofing firms for roof repairs can significantly contribute to the overall valuation. Seeking valuations from multiple surveyors provides a range of values, empowering property owners with valuable information to base their decisions on.
Fire Insurance Valuations
Insuring your property in the event of a fire is a crucial part of becoming a landlord in a buy-to-let property. It is important not to over-estimate or under-estimate the value of a property as then you may end up paying more in damages or more in insurance when you could have paid less. By asking advice from a surveyor, you will receive an accurate idea of the value of the property in the event of a fire, which you can use correctly when insuring the property against damages.
Schedules of Condition and Schedules of Dilapidations
Schedules of Condition (at the start of a lease) and Schedules of Dilapidations (towards the end and at the end of a lease) are essential documents that need drawing up by landlords in order to protect their assets from extensive damage to a property during a tenant’s time living there. A surveyor will be able to draw up both documents at the relevant time and will also work to reach a satisfying conclusion for all parties in the event of a dispute.
As a new buy-to-let investor, you might want to start off small to see how you handle the extra responsibility, instead of going whole hog and buying several properties to let out all at once. Becoming a buy-to-let landlord takes a lot of responsibility and it can be a stressful job. Unless you delegate a letting agent to handle all your tenants for you, it is your responsibility to make sure everyone is happy and that nothing is broken. Conducting a detailed survey on the property in the first place is one big step to ensuring that you have a much easier time as a landlord. It is that simple!
Article provided by Chiltern Associates, an independent firm of professional surveyors and valuers with extensive experience providing building surveys in the Suffolk area.