If you’ve ever looked into buying a second property and becoming a landlord, you’ll probably know it’s not something you can do on the cheap. I know a few people that have invested in property with the aim of bringing in a second income but have ended up not just out of pocket but with a real headache to boot.
With the current position we are in financially it will probably be a few years before we’re in a position to buy our first property, let alone a second one to rent out, but it’s still nice to dream. If one day we were in a position though, I’d like to think I would do my research and save as much money as I possibly could.
Let’s look at some of the things you can do to save money when becoming a landlord.
Be Choosy With Tradesmen
One large outlay if you are a landlord is property maintenance. Unless you are a whizz with DIY, you’ll more than likely turn to a tradesmen to help you out with this and it can be a bit of a minefield.
My advice would be to shop around for the best value. This can be done by searching out and researching companies online or word of mouth. Make sure you know what you’re paying for and if you have a budget let them know.
If you need regular maintenance on more than one property, see if you can strike up a deal with the tradesman in return of a longer contract and more work for them.
As someone I respect very dearly used to say to me; it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Also, it’s always worth checking to see if you can get any recommendations. Check with your local trading standards for advice.
Have the Correct Insurance
If you are a landlord, one of the most important and money saving things you can do is have a good insurance policy. In the event of an incident with a property you own, having the correct landlord insurance can potentially save you huge sums of cash. That said, it doesn’t mean you have to pay over the odds for landlord insurance.
My advice would be to use a specialist landlord insurance company such as CIA Insurance who are partnered with some of the UK’s best insurers.
Apply for Grants
Landlords have the opportunity to apply for a number of grants. These cost saving initiatives are for landlords who want to insulate their properties and make them more energy efficient. The Green Deal which is UK government led and allows individuals to apply for loans to pay for energy saving measures in their properties.
Be careful though as with every government initiative there are always scammers. Check out my Green Deal guide for more info.
Like with most things; the more organised and on top of things you are, the more chance you can save money. This is the same with being a landlord. An unorganised landlord is one that doesn’t chase rent payments, doesn’t renew their insurances on time and doesn’t keep on top of property maintenance.
If you want to make sure you don’t forget any of these things then you need to get organised. Now as a busy person myself I know how hard this is but that is where the trusty smartphone comes in handy. Whether you have an Apple or Android device you will be able to find a landlord App like the one from Direct Line for Business which takes away the worry of having to remember 101 things!
Check your Mortgage
Your key expense with being a landlord is of course the mortgage payments. Whether you have tenants or not, this is a monthly payment which you should review and make sure you’re are getting the best possible deal.
There are plenty of mortgages available on the market but because of this it can be a minefield getting the best advice and value. A good place to start is this buy-to-let mortgage guide from Which.co.uk.
Whether you are a property owner or just dreaming about it like me; following the rules above will hopefully keep a little more cash in your pocket.
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.