Are Flats Good Buy To Let Investment Properties?

by Mark Alexander

15:45 PM, 19th October 2011
About 9 years ago

Are Flats Good Buy To Let Investment Properties?

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Are Flats Good Buy To Let Investment Properties?

Do flats make good buy to let investment properties? I have several in my portfolio but the dynamics of viability is very different to a freehold property as service charges and rent affect net yields. Also, what’s best, ground floor or upper floors? Please check out the short video below ….


Mark Alexander
Mark and his family have been investing in property since 1989, initially in the Norwich area but more recently across the length and breadth of England. Mark created Property118.com as a social network for landlords with a vision of becoming the UK’s largest online property investor directory.
Mark’s experiences and strategies as a landlord are shared here

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Comments

chris howells

10:10 AM, 20th October 2011
About 9 years ago

have a first floor flat in a purpose built block.Lucky that the services charges and ground rent are reasonable approx £50 per month, this reduces the yield by about 1%. not too bad. However, I would not buy any more flats because of the high service charges on the new built ones which seem to increase significantly year on year.
If I was buying any more property which I do not intend to do in the near future I would stick to houses or Hmos for the best return.

10:23 AM, 20th October 2011
About 9 years ago

Hi Mark,

Great site, very useful. I wanted to ask if you have any knowledge of installing PV solar panels. I have been advised if you install the panels on a 'buy to let' property the Feed in Tariff will become taxable? It is also not clear as to what can be offset for tax e.g. if it costs me £13k to install can I offset against my tax bill and carry forward to future years?

Any information would be appreciated.

Regards,

Andy

Mark Alexander

10:59 AM, 20th October 2011
About 9 years ago

Hi Andrew

Great question.

I have no personal experience of doing this but we have produced a number of articles about Solar panels and there has been quite a lot of discussion around the subject. If you type "Solar Panels" into our Google Custom Search Bar (centre and just below the Navigation Bar on our home page) it will bring up several articles and discussions. many of the people who have commented appear to have researched this in great depth.

I hope this helps.

Regards

Mark

John Bolland

18:19 PM, 20th October 2011
About 9 years ago

I agree with most of what you say. I have some flats, all were new purpose built and cost between £78,000 to about £120,000 a few years ago. All with discounts even at the peak of the boom. I avoided expensive shitty centre flats like the plague - £200-£300,000+ for a 2 bed. You must be joking. Ground floor flats also can flood (seen it happen)and can put off ladies who like to hoover in the nude with windows open and are security aware (seen it happen!)etc....
GR's and Service Charges can be a rip-off so avoid the big name builders. Barratts springs to mind. At one mews we have halved our service charges by forming a company and doing all the stuff ourselves. They are v well kept as well.

Sam Addison

9:25 AM, 26th October 2011
About 9 years ago

We have a one bed flat above commercial property which we bought all together. Letting it in the current climate has been difficult but now achieved. The access has probably put some people off as the front door is shared with two commercial units. Also some prospective tenants did not like the idea of the landlord being below them. Other problems are that the tenant has no access through the building to the yard at the back for refuse bins and storage for his bike. We have had to take the bolts off the back gate and install a yale lock to give him access, albeit all the way round the block!
It does appear that you have more viewings before letting a flat than with a house so more time wasted.

Daniel Gilby

10:08 AM, 26th October 2011
About 9 years ago

The advantage of a ground floor flat is that you could have access to a garden. The main advantage to a first floor flat or above is that it takes less to heat in the winter. Service charges, biggest rip off ever. Pev***l (**moderated company name**) comes to mind

Gilly

17:46 PM, 26th October 2011
About 9 years ago

I own all three flats in the one block, ( it was a beautiful house for five people previously, until HMO legislaton) and so the service charges are eliminated, as I suppose I can decide how much they will be! Mine are done to a very high standard - in fact far too good for rental probably, but they should be good to sell in the future. As they are so lovely I have queues of people wanting to rent them - much, much easier than HMOs and they are expensive and attract really nice people - well most of them.... They are a great investment but that is because we renovated them ourselves and turned it from a house into three flats, so the rental return is now higher and the sale value will be higher than the original house price. Only downside was trying to borrow the vast amount needed for the conversion in this awful climate and it will take years to get the money back. Mark is so right about condensation though - however, tenants drying clothes without opening windows happens on every floor, despite numerous reminders. We have put in loads of air bricks and trickle vents are a must - but it is a major headache, especialy if they have been insulated to the highest degree. Ground floors also attract cyclists and they damage the floors and paintwork dragging the bikes through the house to the rear garden shed. They all say they love gardening - then never do any! Sorry, I could go on all day....

Mark Alexander

18:47 PM, 26th October 2011
About 9 years ago

Hi Gilly

Tenants are notorious for blocking up air bricks and stopping ventilation. What you need is moisture sensing extractor fans that can't be turned off. If that doesn't work talk to Envirovent, not cheap but fantastic systems, I have one. Join NLA before you use them, their discount for NLA members is greater than the cost of membership!


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