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10 Landlord Resolutions for 2009

Ten New Year Resolutions for landlords in 2009.

Every year a landlord starts off with a whole heap of things that they are going to do with their rental property portfolio. We all know the list is potentially endless. Therefore the team at Property Hawk have put together their heads and come up with 10 of our most pressing things that a landlord should do to keep their property lettings business moving forward and their head above water in 09.

1. Landlords should make sure that they get their tax form in on time.

A landlord wishing to ensure that they avoid an automatic £100 fine for the late submission of their tax return will need to complete their tax return by the 31st Janaury. To calculate your tax return landlords are FREE to use the Property Manager 3 landlord software which will calculate the figures for them and just mean that they can add the figures straight into the land and property section of their self assessment form. To find out more about a landlord’s tax demand.

2. Landlords should cut costs.

Every business in the down turn is looking to cut their costs. Landlords running a letting business should be looking to do the same. Look to see if you can cut your loan costs by investigating the buy-to-let mortgage alternatives

Remember next year to shop around for your landlord insurance and remember it pays to be cheeky. If you have an existing policy get Alan Boswell to call you back, to see if they can beat your existing policy quote. They particularly like the challenge if you have a larger more complicated portfolio requirement. Look at other ways of cutting your costs suggested by author Toby Hone in his article for Property Hawk earlier in the year in response to the Credit Crunch.

3. Landlords need to keep a close watch on cashflow.

Cash is king in these difficult times. Landlords need to ensure that their rental business is generating more cash than is going out. To work out their cashflow they can use the Property Manager 2 landlord software to ensure incoming exceed outgoings.

4. Landlords should prepare a maintenance planner.

A landlord should sit down and work out for each property what they need to do to keep their residential investment portfolio properly maintained and functioning. Does one buy-to-let property need painting? How about a refurb going into 2009 do the figures stack up?

Careful planning of expenses intertwined with a watch on expenses will allow a landlord’s letting business to survive what will be a tough 2009.

5. Landlords should reference tenants even more carefully.

Vetting tenants will be even more critical next year as up to another 1 million people could loose their job, meaning that the chances of a landlord having a working tenant made unemployed and sustaining a prolong period of no rent or void will increase considerably. Remember our recent advice about vetting tenants and consider either getting rental insurance or a guarantor where you are uncertain about your prospective tenant’s financial security.

6. A landlord should get more organised.

It’s not easy for landlords who often have to juggle a busy career, a frantic social and family life as well as managing their buy-to-let empire. But being organised makes life a little easier. Property Hawk’s Property Manager 3 landlord software helps landlords keep track of rents paid, prepare a full inventory and create the vital forms and agreements needed to create a tenancy and end a tenancy.

7. Look out for buying opportunities but don’t rush in.

The landlord press is full of ‘middle men’ shouting from the roof tops about the opportunities for landlords to buy property at once in a life time bargain prices following the recent falls in UK residential property prices. Landlords should be looking out for real bargains but they should not rush in expecting a sudden bounce. Patience is the name of the game. Remember the 3 pillars of buy-to-let and 2009 could still be the year for a buy-to-let bargain.

8. A landlord should be pro-active.

If a landlord does face a difficulty, such as the tenant who stops paying rent or the tenant does a bunkor faces financial difficulties with their buy-to-let mortgages then they shouldn’t ignore the situation and hope it goes away.

9. A landlord should count their blessings.

With interest rates at record lows and expected to fall even further next year to maybe 1%, it could be a record year ironically for rental profits. Next year though should be seen as a year of building up cash reserves where possible to either survive harsher conditions in 2010 or provide expansion capital for when the housing market eventually turns up.

10. Landlords shouldn’t get too depressed; they should instead focus on the long term.

It’s not easy being a landlord at the moment. Property prices are already down by 15% or more according to many house price indices.

Many forecasters are predicting that house prices could fall by another 15% next year.

This is painful as landlords equity is severely depleted or wiped out altogether. However, landlords should remember that despite these falls many of us are still up. With housing starts anticipated to be only 87,000 next year according to the RICS; a fraction of the 240,000 of what they need to be to hit the Governments long term target of 3 million new homes by 2020. There is going to be a large under supply of accommodation and this will mean that when the housing bounce comes landlords should be in a prime position to benefit.

HAPPY NEW YEAR – from the Property Hawk team.

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