Date Published 07 September 2020
Strategies to Help Landlords Ride Out a Recession
In this three-minute read, we explain how landlords can navigate their way through choppy economic waters and achieve good returns on their investment.
When officials announced on 12 August that the UK had entered recession, lots of economic experts came out of the woodwork.
Some predicted things would get much worse; others suggested the downturn may be less severe than first predicted.
The truth is this year has been so unprecedented, it's difficult to forecast the road ahead precisely.
With so much uncertainty landlords may feel a little wobbly, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to ride out the recession.
The key is to understand that it's not about doing one single thing right, it's about doing several things well.
It's a bit like being a top cyclist. The world-class riders lining up for this year's Tour de France don't spend all their time cycling (although they do spend a lot of time in the saddle).
They also carefully monitor their diet, work with a psychologist to strengthen their mindset and do strength training at the gym. It's this multi-pronged approach that gives them the edge.
Landlords hoping to avoid a bumpy ride need to take a similar approach. Here are the key things on which to focus.
Get off to a good start by selecting a good quality tenant. Ask lots of questions and carry out thorough credit and reference checks. It may be tempting to cut corners at this stage to save time, but you could come to regret it.
It's surprising how many landlords lose money because they are not on the most competitive mortgage deal. As interest rates are so low at the moment, many people are locking themselves into three or five-year deals so they have certainty.
Be a people person
You need to foster a good relationship with your tenants. Never assume that because you haven't heard from them that everything is hunky-dory. Keep in regular contact so that if their circumstances change, you know as early as possible. The last thing you want is your property sitting empty because the tenant has had to vacate at short notice.
If your tenant's situation changes, don't make any rash decisions. If a reliable, trustworthy tenant finds themselves in difficulty, is it worth cutting them some slack? Every landlord has to make decisions based on their individual circumstances. But before you rush in, consider all your options and seek advice from experts on the local property market who can update you on rental prices and demand.
A top cyclist would never compete on a bike with tyres that need inflating or a chain that needs lubricating. Take a similar approach to property maintenance. It may seem appealing to save a little cash by delaying maintenance work, but it always costs you in the long run. Neglecting your property can breed animosity with tenants and lead to small DIY issues becoming major building works.
Use a letting agent
The best pro riders have a strong support team behind them. This allows them to focus on what they do best and stops them from getting bogged down with admin and paperwork.
Here at TOTAL Lettings, we're experienced at managing tenant relationships and properties. We can help you to go the distance.
Thanks to Rob Wingate for sharing their work on Unsplash.