Buy-to-let property investors advised to do their homework

Buy-to-let investors can maximise their income by checking out the facilities in the area before they buy, according to the industry organisation.

If they also pay attention to the interior of the property it will help them to maximise lettings, says the Residential Landlords' Association.

RLA director, Alan Ward, said interiors can often be overlooked by would be landlords. Attention should be given to interiors to ensure that the decor and fittings appeal to the kind of tenant the landlord is seeking to attract.

'The local market should also be researched before, for example, deciding whether to let a property fully or partly furnished,' he said.

'The extra effort is worthwhile because a well presented property is easier to let and more likely to give the landlord a choice of tenants,' he added.

The organisation has also found it is important to research the chosen tenant group and review whether the facilities in a property will meet expectations. For example, young professionals sharing a house may be looking for two bathrooms.

Landlords can look forward to a promising market as instructions for new lettings are on the rise.

With house sales around 50% below this time last year, homeowners and housing developers unable to sell are increasingly becoming so called "forced landlords" and they have to be aware of the 'tricks of the trade'. The RLA advises them to do their homework first.