For many landlords, buy to let (i.e. buying a property to let it out) is a great way to generate income, and many banks offer buy-to-let mortgages to assist with this. But what about empty, old or dilapidated properties – is there support for landlords who wish to renovate a property for the rental market? The answer is yes! Read on to find out more.
When a property is rundown and unlivable, the need for renovation is clear, but there are also properties that could be rented as they are but could still really benefit from renovation. If you’re not sure whether your rental property needs refurbishment, it might help to know that carrying out renovations can boost your income in the long term. First, renovating increases the value of your property, and therefore the amount you can charge in rent. Second, it can cut down on your long-term maintenance costs, and third, it can bring in tenants who will want to live there for longer. Sure, your rental might be earning you money now, but investing some time and money in improving it could really pay off down the line.
What support is there?
Certain lenders offer refurbishment loans for developers wishing to improve a property, and many councils provide financial support (e.g. loans and grants) to those wishing to renovate an empty property for the rental market. For example, Bristol City Council offers ‘empty property loans‘ up to £60,000 for properties that have been standing empty for at least six months, and for which the person doing the renovating already has the relevant planning permission. The government also offers certain VAT incentives to people converting or renovating empty properties, and you can apply for temporary council tax exemption while your property is empty and unfurnished.
How should I renovate?
In order to make your renovation a success, it’s important to have a clear plan. The sooner you get the property finished, the sooner it can start earning you money, so set a budget and timescale and try to stick it as much as possible. It’s much easier to carry out renovations before any tenants move in, so make the most significant changes now (e.g. replastering walls, replacing the central heating system). When it comes to decorating, focus on long-term durability and ease of cleaning: think tiles in kitchens and bathrooms, good-quality flooring, and anti-mould devices such as mould-resistant paint and extractor fans. Even if it costs you more at the beginning, it’ll be worth it if you don’t have to keep replacing things like carpets and appliances every couple of years.
Keen to know more? Check out Mortgage Advice Bureau to see how often you need to carry out certain renovation jobs on your property.
Do you have a property ready to let in Bristol? Contact Gough Quarters today for assistance.