For many, being a landlord is a business, pure and simple. Businesses need to make money in order to survive, but we can take our eye off the ball when it comes to saving money in our pursuit of making more.
Saving cash is often a neglected low-hanging fruit, so we thought it might be a good idea to offer up a few reminders of how you can potentially save yourself thousands of pounds each year with very little effort. Interested? Thought you might be…
Number one on our list is remembering to review your outgoings. This is a tedious task, we know, but doing so can result in huge savings – savings that are well worth the effort! Things such as mortgages and insurance can be easily compared and changed these days thanks to the growing number of comparison sites online. So, why aren’t you doing it?
Set aside a day – every six months to a year will be fine - so you can completely overhaul your outgoings. By doing so, you’ll be in far better shape financially than if you leave things for ‘when you’ve got time’. Oh, and if you are using those comparison sites, remember that many of them are now owned by huge umbrella companies who’ll serve only what suits them best, so be sure to check them all out if you truly want to find the best deal.
Do you work with small businesses directly in your day-to-day dealings as a landlord? If you do, then you have the opportunity to negotiate on price – especially when you already have an ongoing relationship in place.
Businesses hate losing customers, which is why even huge companies such as Sky have retention teams in place; they just don’t want to let you go. Keeping a customer is often far cheaper than finding a new one, and you can use this fact to your advantage.
Get things done in one go
Wherever possible, try and combine jobs carried out by tradesman so they only have to make one visit. Putting things off will usually end up costing you more. So, if there are a couple of things that need attention in your property, get them done together and hone your negotiating skills even further.
One area where this is easy to make savings is your annual testing requirements. Many Gas Safe engineers are also qualified to carry our PAT (portable appliance testing) tests, too. While PAT tests are not required by law in the same way that gas tests are, it is still good practice to have them done every once in a while.
Get furniture for free
Offering your rental accommodation as furnished can dramatically increase your chances of getting a tenant into your property quickly, but it’s expensive, right? Wrong! In some instances, you can actually pick up really decent furniture for nothing. That’s right, free!
With charges being made by local councils and home clearance companies to remove old and unwanted furniture, new opportunities have opened up to the canny landlord. Some people will try and avoid these charges by listing their preloved items as free, providing you go and pick them up. Check local papers and sites such as freecycle.org, gumtree.com and craigslist.co.uk to see if you can save yourself a packet on pricey furniture.
Follow the rules
For those who find themselves renting out property for the first time, either as accidental landlords or virgin buy-to-let businesspeople, this is possibly the most important money saving tip of them all. While it won’t save you any cash up front, following the rules now could potentially save you everything at a later date – including your liberty.
Check out the government’s guidance on renting out your property in England and Wales to make sure you stay on the right side of the line. Failing to do so could turn out to be very costly indeed.
Consider handing over the reins
Believe it or not, paying extra can be a fantastic money saving tip. While going it alone might seem like it will be the prudent move, having an experienced letting agent manage your property will often save you a bundle in the long run.
One thing that is hard to quantify on paper is the cost of your time. Being a landlord is an extremely time consuming business (when done correctly) and outsourcing many of the chores and tasks associated with it to a reputable company such as Petty Son and Prestwich can often make good financial sense.