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Landlords advice – 10 things landlords should seriously consider before it is too late


Landlords advice – 10 things landlords should seriously consider before it is too late

1. Know when to stop investing and start living. I have a friend who is fast approaching 50 years old who owns 82 properties. His goal is to get to 100. What’s the point? 100 is just another number isn’t it? What would you rather own, 100 properties up North or one large shopping Mall? I know which I would choose! Let’s say his properties are worth just £50k each, that means his portfolio is worth about £4 million. I can’t find a period in history when property values haven’t doubled in value over 20 years – feel free to correct me if you know different. Even if he’s got 100% mortgages today and never pays a penny off the capital he’s likely to be worth at least £4 million net well before he’s 70 if history repeats itself. Think what effect inflation will have had on his rental income and net profits too!

2. Learn to delegate and empower. I know a couple in their late 60’s. They enjoy short breaks in their caravan but they never spend any long periods away because they are so tied to their business. They are worth millions, a bit like my friend above just 20 years on. If they could just learn to trust somebody else to manage their portfolio their lives could be so different. Full Property Management need not cost a fortune, in fact, I’ve found an ARLA member offering an excellent service from just £14.99 plus VAT per property, per month.

3. Succession planning. Can you believe that 70% of landlords have not made a Will? An even greater percentage have not even heard of lasting powers of attorney, never mind got them sorted.  The consequences of not having these vital pieces of paper in place are added grief, family squabbles, the potential of paying more tax than necessary and perhaps the worst of all is that a Civil Servant could end up making decisions about your property portfolio if you are unable to make them for yourself. See Office of the Public Guardian.

4. Consider your taxation strategy as it can make a massive difference to the amount of profits you retain

5. Work out how much life insurance your beneficiaries might need to be in a position to refinance your properties into their name and then get it sorted. There are four good reasons to do this as soon as possible. The first is that you never know how long you’ve got left. Second; life insurance costs more the older you get. Third; your health may deteriorate and you may not be able to get anybody to insure you at all. Fourth; when you apply for life insurance the insurance company usually pays for a full medical. You’d pay a fortune to have this done privately so why not let the insurance companies pay for you to get yourself checked out?

6. Make sure that any life insurance you have is written into trust. If it isn’t, then it forms part of your estate and if your beneficiary is anybody other than your husband, wife or civil partner then 40% tax will be payable on the proceeds over and above the inheritance tax threshold. One simple piece of paper, provided free by most life insurance companies, could result in your estate paying far less inheritance tax. The frightening this is that most life insurance is not written into trust.

7. Join a Landlords Association and go to the meetings. They are a great place to pick up landlords advice. You have to do things for yourself but it’s harder to do everything alone. Join a bigger T.E.A.M. (Together Everybody Achieves More). I’ve always said that is cheaper to learn from other people experiences that is it to learn from your own mistakes.

8. Review your portfolio and your financial position regularly. There is a saying I really love “the wonderful things and not planning and reviewing your plan is that failure comes as a complete surprise and is not preceded by periods of stress and worry”. Who plans to fail though? Very few I suspect but several people fail to plan. Here’s a really simple calculator to get you on you way to reviewing your property portfolio – Portfolio Review Calculator

9. Stay informed, if you haven’t already signed up to receive the Property118 landlords daily updates do so now. It’s free and it takes less than 10 seconds. Start by clicking here.

10. Get professional advice. If you owned a £100,000 car you wouldn’t service it yourself would you? Let us help you by putting you in touch with the professional advisers you are likely to need to give you the quality of Landlords Advice you deserve. Simply call us on 01603 489118.

Please leave comments below with your landlords advice.



  • Paul Barrett Member Profile Deleted says:

    I think you are right Mark, money for money’s sake is pointless.
    I know that the inventor of Mcafee owned lots of things properties etc.
    In the end he thought what is the point of owning all this stuff.
    So he sold everything and now rents everything he ever needs.
    So he is not tied down and is very much a free spirit.
    The other thing is how hard shoukld you have to work for family members
    surely you achieve a reasonable amount and then enjoy the fruits of your labours.
    Family etc have got their lives to work hard just like you did.
    I don’t see the point of slaving away so that heirs can have an easier life.
    My mother has just downsized and she nhas a nice sum of money.
    She started taliking about giving some to grandchildrena nd my sister and I.
    I sais NO go and spend it and she has agreed that is what she is going to do whilst she is still physically able to do.
    I have said I want her to spend all her money if poss, so when she goes in the ground or up the chimney I will hopefully be able to say, she left nothing but boy did she enjoy herself in her finbal years.
    There can be nothing worse than not spending the money you have built up over years of hard work only to be the dribbling millionaire in a care home.
    I say sod the the next genration, enjoy the fruits of your labours and if that means stop buying property then do so.

  • All good advise Mark, and as you say in the first part of this article property values always come back, but what about when we bump heads with an aggressive bank, now looking to change the goal posts because as we all know international valuations have deteriorated causing us slip out of our loan to value covenant?
    Is there anyone offering specialist advise how to deal with this sort of issue?

  • The penny dropped with me when i was recently refused a mortgage for the 1st time in over 12 years. They deemed me over exposed in one area. How dare they was my 1st reaction. I know my stuff. This was an excellent deal. They would have got their money. 24hrs later though my reaction turned from anger to relief. I could now walk away with my head held high and blame someone else. I then grinned to myself. I knew the tide had turned in me . I have enough I dont need more. A new chapter in my life began on 9th September 2012. I`m enjoying this chapter more and more…….

  • Good for you Jonathan, life is for living! If you are anything like me though you will still be very tempted to buy another one on a regular basis. It becomes habitual to look for deals and I have to constantly remind myself that I just don’t need any more. I’m sure I will succumb to one sooner or later though, Svetlana will make sure of that as she now wants to start building a portfolio in her name. Oh the joys of married life – I can see what’s going to happen here LOL



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