Rising overheads, reduced tax allowances and static (in some places) rents mean that it is more important than ever for buy to let landlords to make sure that the numbers add up when owning buy to let property. One way, in fact the very best way, to do this is to look at how you can increase your letting yields. Or in other words, how to make more money from the same property.
Fortunately there is not just one way to increase your buy to let letting yields, but a whole raft of measures that you can deploy. In this report we will look at some property investment strategies that will help improve your letting yields.
1. Simple but often overlooked – just raise the rent. Rent rises in the private sector have been low or static in many cases in recent years, so it might be perfectly possible to make an increase.
Check local rental levels and demand to see if this is practical. Landlords exiting the market means that some areas now have a shortage of rental property.
2. Buy property in cheaper areas. As a very general rule, where prices are lower rents are usually also lower but not proportionately so. So simple maths says that yields will be higher.
3. Buy in places where demand for property is high and supply is low. Chances are you’ll be able to let your property at a premium, raising yields.
Local agents are well placed to advise you where these areas are, and what types of property are sought after.
4. Invest in shared properties – houses of multiple occupation or HMOs. It pretty much goes without saying that the yield will be higher, usually substantially higher, than single occupancy properties.
5. Invest in property that can be let to students. Student property almost always returns a higher yield …. in normal times. Property let to overseas students may be capable of returning an even higher yield. But – be aware Covid is impacting this market right now.
Here’s an Insider report on investing in student property.
6. If investing in apartments choose properties that are suitable for letting to two sharers, ie. two friends/colleagues (not a couple) because they have two adequately sized bedrooms.
When there are two people to pay the rent you can usually charge a premium.
This Insider report offers some more advice on increasing returns and lettability from apartments: Insider Tips, Strategies When Buying Buy To Let Apartments
7. Consider entering the Housing Benefit market. Apart from the fact suitable properties are usually in cheaper areas/lower priced yields are generally higher.
Also, consider letting to a local authority/housing association via a private sector leasing scheme. Although the rent may actually be discounted from market rent the reduction in management time and elimination of voids for the period of the contract may effectively serve to improve your return.
8. Consider accepting unusual or ‘difficult’ tenants, eg. those with inadequate/no/bad references – or even just those who have pets. As most landlords won’t accept these tenants and so these tenants have limited choices those landlords who do can often charge a premium.
9. Invest in property of non standard construction. Purchase prices are lower, often much lower, but the rents are the same – tenants aren’t really bothered what the property is actually built of.
This Insider report looks at this type of niche investment opportunity: Investing in property of non standard construction
10. Look at investing in property suitable for corporate lettings, ie. property let to companies to accommodate employees or visitors. Companies will often pay a premium for suitable accommodation. (Take advice from agents on suitable locations, suitable properties and levels of demand in that area.)
11. Consider property that can be let as a holiday rental for all or part of the year. Well managed holiday property can return a substantially higher yield.
12. Rent your property out on short term rentals, eg. daily, weekly or monthly. Consider doing this using a holiday/short term rentals site such as Booking or AirBNB.
In general terms, the shorter each individual let the higher the yield. For example, an apartment let long term at £500 a month could let at £500 a year on a short term basis.
In property, investments that afford a higher yield than a simple, single family, long term buy to let are not actually that hard to find. In fact, those kinds of lets often offer the lowest yields. However, there’s usually a price to pay for enjoying higher yields – such as more work or a greater risk. Be sure you understand all the pros and cons before investing in higher yielding property.
Mark Hempshell is Editor in Chief at Property Insider