What do Manchester landlords need to budget for?

To succeed as a landlord in Greater Manchester’s booming rental property market, you need to have a realistic idea about the costs you’ll encounter when letting out a property.



For a first-time investor or those on the outside looking in, many people think that being a landlord is child’s play; they assume that once the tenant has the keys, the only thing left to do is collect the rent each month.

But the truth is, letting a property comes with an array of grown-up financial and legal responsibilities. If you’re not on top of your obligations, regulations and maintenance, you could lose money or wind up in court (or both).

Here’s a list of all the costs that are part and parcel of being a landlord in Manchester:

Mortgage repayments

Mortgage repayments are the most significant monthly outgoing for most landlords. If you’re looking for certainty about the size of your monthly repayments, opt for a fixed-term rate.

Insurance costs

Landlord insurance is a condition of most buy-to-let mortgages. You can opt for a general policy (this should cover property liability, buildings insurance, contents, and loss of rent) or one that is more far-reaching (but will have higher premiums).

Maintenance and repairs

All properties require general maintenance from time to time. Landlords must ensure the property is safe (that means keeping up to date with things like gas and electricity safety checks) and in good condition. Set aside funds to cover this and any repairs that may crop up (we suggest between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of annual rent). Proactive maintenance allows for any issues to be rectified quickly before they become a larger problem, saving costs, time, and any potential hassle of having to lose a valuable tenant.

Service charges and other fees

If your property is in an apartment block, you may need to pay a service charge or ground rent. Leasehold property owners may also have to contribute to the cost of work carried out in communal areas.

Covering voids periods

Even the most optimistic and diligent landlord should be prepared for a property to be empty for a short period between tenancies (or longer depending on your managing agent / demand in the given area). It’s also possible that a tenant could fall behind on the rent. Set aside at least six weeks’ rent to cover yourself.

Tax

The rules around what you can and can’t claim as a landlord have tightened in recent years. To ensure you pay what you should, and claim that to which you’re entitled, do your research and keep all relevant receipts and paperwork.

Finding a tenant and credit checks

Some DIY landlords do these things themselves, but most good landlords leave it to an experienced, proactive managing agent (such as ourselves). The DIY route can save you money upfront – but it could cost you much more in the long run (think of the legal bills if it all goes wrong). A good letting agent will have years of experience at sourcing good tenants, checking references, and spotting trouble in advance.

Property management fees

A letting agent will handle the big and little stuff for you: the paperwork, the people management, the legal checks, the inspections, and disputes. As a landlord, you could do this for yourself. It will save you some money but cost you in terms of time and energy.

As Abode strive to ensure all our landlords have full control of their time, we are more than happy to help you make decisions and choices based on ensuring your cash reserves are topped up and your budgeting is in order when it comes to property investment in Manchester. For more information, give us a call on 0161 883 2525.

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