I want to enjoy retirement – how can I as a buy-to-let landlord?

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Guaranteeing your rental income for retirement

In my last two posts, you’ll have read about our client Scott, and his desire to create income when he retires.

In the investment blog post titled “What type of residential property is best for retirement income?” we discussed three types of property that Scott was considering for investment. He was also concerned about a property’s ability to maintain retirement income. His mind was put at rest with the package of five guarantees that Gladfish offer, and the strategic way in which we approach property investment that allows us to give those guarantees. (Read about these in the investment blog “How do I know my property won’t suffer long void periods?”)

In this post, I address Scott’s last concern. As he put it when speaking to me, “If I have to spend all my time making sure my tenant is the best I can get, it ruins the advantage of property investment. I want to enjoy my retirement, not spend every minute chasing after rent and fixing leaking taps.”

How to get the best tenant

In the same way that you need a strategy when investing, you also need a strategy when finding a tenant. The good news here is that if you’ve bought the right type of property, you should attract the right type of tenant. The bad news is there will still be rogues out to get you.

Ezytrac’s article “How to find tenants when you’re a buy-to-let landlord” outlines a do-it-yourself strategy which will help you lease your property to the best tenants. It talks about knowing the rental value and being realistic with rental demands, as well as knowing your target tenant. Crucially it explains that you must correctly reference and vet your prospective tenant. The following factors are important when identifying a good tenant from a bad one:

  • Employment history
  • Rental history
  • Credit rating

 

Like Scott pointed out, this takes time and, when you’re new to property investing, you might get it wrong.

Reducing tenant risk and buying your time

I don’t know about you, but when I retire I want to benefit from income that I don’t have to work for. An annuity gives you this, but you only have to do some rudimentary research to find out that the penalty is a potential halving of the retirement income a property could pay you.

(Read Brett’s investment article “Are property investments or annuities best for retirement income?” to discover how you can find your personal illustration in just a couple of minutes.)

Residential property investment can also provide great passive income. You don’t have to be involved in the day-to-day problems of managing your property.

By hiring the right property management company, you’ll benefit from almost effortless property management. It will find and vet clients, conduct viewings, undertake regular inspections, compose property inventories, collect rental income on your behalf, and coordinate all repair and maintenance work.

While the day-to-day time-consuming, monotonous property management work is being carried out, you could be experiencing the world on that cruise you promised yourself, or spending time with the grandchildren at Disneyworld in Florida.

Taking advantage of professional property management isn’t free − but it is a lot less costly than you might imagine. It’s an investment that makes sure your tenants are found, vetted, and managed effectively. And it’s an investment that ensures your retirement is your own, and not the tenant’s time to spend as they see fit.

Contact one of the team here at Gladfish or me on +44 (0)207 923 6100 to ask about our property investment opportunities, and to discuss how to use property to produce real retirement income whenever it is that you are due to retire.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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