Where to buy our first BTL property & seeking an accountant locally

Where to buy our first BTL property & seeking an accountant locally

13:26 PM, 8th August 2013, About 10 years ago 15

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Firstly, my partner and I are looking to purchase our first BTL property and I wondered what criteria to use for optimum location.Sharon Jones

My research tells me that first timers usually buy close to where they live and this is what we initially thought. However, for the cost of what we can buy in an area of Kent with a likely rental approx £350 pcm, we could (for much the same outlay) potentially buy 2 in a cheaper area of the UK with a rental of approx £300 pcm on each. This seems to offer a better yield but due to the distances etc we should probably have to go for fully managed as we both work full time and could not attend to things ourselves.

We are novices and looking to learn from experienced people so all advice is appreciated, even ‘obvious’ stuff!

Secondly, can anyone recommend a good property accountant local to East Kent please? I understand the arguments re travelling out of area to a good one being a necessary & legitimate business expense etc. but we are limited by time more than anything and should like to do business locally.

Looking forward to your kind responses so thank you in advance.


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

13:36 PM, 8th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Sharon and welcome to Property118.com

I don't know of a good accountant in Kent I could recommend, however, mine deals with people all over the world, usually by email, post and telephone - see >>> http://www.property118.com/landlord-tax/

I need to ask you a few more questions before answering yours please?

How much of your own cash are you looking to invest into BTL?

Rent of £350 pcm sounds very cheap to me for Kent, is that what you meant or did you mean per week?

If you are planning to buy a large portfolio and manage it yourself I would suggest you do so close to home.

However, if your portfolio is to be kept small then I would suggest using a letting agent as there is simply too much stuff to learn to otherwise make it worth your while - unless you really enjoy that sort of thing of course. It's so easy to make mistakes these days which end up costing a fortune it's almost a 'no-brainer' to appoint a letting agent for most small landlords and most do. Of course, if you get the right letting agent they can do everything for you. BE CAREFUL though, not all letting agents are the same. There are plenty horror stories and cautionary tales on this website proving that. The services I recommend are here >>> http://www.property118.com/full-property-management-from-just-14-99-a-month/34413/

I hope that helps to get you started at least 🙂

Vanessa Warwick

15:39 PM, 8th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Sharon,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Buy To Let!

A good place to start is an article I wrote specifically for people like you who are just starting out ...

It is called "How to get started in BTL in 10 easy steps"


It will answer most of your questions re; buying close to home or not.

If you are time poor, you could consider Northwood's Guaranteed Rent product which is ideal for busy people as it guarantees the rent, even if there is a void period. It is a completely hassle free solution.

Find out more here:


With regards to an accountant, I do everything over the phone and via email with mine, so I don't think a "local" one is necessary.

My accountant Amit Prasanna at G & P Accountants in London is a specialist property accountant.

You can email him on a.prasanna (at) gp-ca.com and I am sure he would be delighted to help you.


23:04 PM, 8th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "08/08/2013 - 13:36":

Hi Mark. Thank you for your response. To answer your question, we shall just be buying one property so an agent does seem to be the best option. I think I should enjoy learning the ropes myself but it would just be too costly to make a mistake!
The rent I quoted is pcm-this would be in Dover/Folkestone/Thanet/Medway areas of Kent.
In terms of our own cash we are tight but have just enough, we believe. My broker is Ian Murray at http://www.meridian-mortgages.co.uk/ whom I have known for a number of years and he has suitable products for our current situation.
Thank you for the info re accountants too-indeed plenty to get me started

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:07 AM, 9th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "SHARON JONES" at "08/08/2013 - 23:04":

Hi Sharon

Well you have taught me something I didn't know!

I had no idea that decent property so far South could be purchased for under £50,000 so I did a quick search in Rightmove for property under £50,000 in Medway, Kent and found 4 pages of them.

I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found this one >>> http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-39889172.html?premiumA=true, however, on closer inspection of the sales details it turns out that it's shared ownership which is useless for BTL.

As I continued looking through the properties on all the pages, I gradually ruled them out so I had to increase the budget. Park Homes also popped up but they are not easily financeable. I stepped it up to £60,000 and found more of the same. At £70,000 I started to find Retirement Flats, they are equally useless for BTL. There were some leasehold flats suitable for BTL at this level but ideally I was looking for a freehold property for you.

The first property I found with any potential was this one >>> http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/Medway.html?maxPrice=100000&minBedrooms=0&index=10

Where are you finding sub £50k properties?

Can you give me an example please?

Vanessa Warwick

10:17 AM, 9th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hello again Sharon,

Whilst the Medway towns sound attractive, I think you need to be careful.

These towns have a lot of social problems, such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy etc.

There was a recent article that seaside towns were being destroyed by social problems and the dumping of vunerable tenants into cheap HMO accommodation, being converted from old hotels and B&B's.


So while it might look attractive on paper, I would advise extreme due diligence and caution to make sure you don't end up with a pup.


0:39 AM, 10th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Mark/Vanessa. Dover is our preferred location, Victorian mid-terraced type of house. Freehold, not leasehold. I did mis-quote the rental-should have been c£500-£550 pcm. Price is in the £80-£100 000 range.
I agree with the comments re Thanet-very run down and only quoted as an example of search area. Medway towns can be worthwhile at slightly higher price & rent-many commuters to London with Rainham/Gillingham/Chatham rail stations heaving with commuters every morning and many renters amongst them. Sittingbourne similarly priced for purchase price & rent. Dover & Folkestone best for price/rent/quality available (mixed quality but some good if you keep an eye daily, as I do)
All in all this may never happen which is my reason for wanting a meeting with a local accountant. I would rather pay for good advice upfront and walk away rather than plough on and make big mistakes.
I really do appreciate all of the wisdom you are imparting and I assure you I'm trying to absorb it all

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

15:24 PM, 10th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "SHARON JONES" at "10/08/2013 - 00:39":

Sharon, what advice do you think you need from an accountant at this stage?

Please bear in mind that accountants charge by the hour, you are not paying to use this forum unless you choose to make a donation to support the running of this forum.

My accountant has been a landlord for as long as I have, most accountants haven't. If they are not experienced landlords themselves how can they possibly advise you? That would be like Andy Murray employing an accountant to be his tennis coach. Fair enough, if he wants a tax strategy he will employ an accountant, but he will probably be best served to employ one who at least understands the game and acts for lots of other professional tennis players. It's no different when a landlord wants to employ an accountant in my opinion. The same goes for solicitors, mortgage brokers, IFA's etc.


19:23 PM, 10th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "10/08/2013 - 15:24":

Hi again
The mentioned mortgage broker is a BTL landlord so happy with him & known for years-sorted that part.
I need 'someone' whom I can sit down with and chew the cud, who can answer my multitude of questions and put me in a place where I have sufficient info to decide a course of action. I assumed that this 'someone' would be a specialist accountant but any 'suitably qualified/experienced person' (such as someone like yourself) would fit the bill.
No-one is in business for (just) the fun of it and I don't mind paying for services as a principle but also don't want to waste money unnecessarily.
This forum is great but I should be on here all day and night with my questions!
I need a sounding board to satisfy myself and then also my partner (life partner as well as business) as he has long arms and short pockets as far as spending is concerned unless it's for foreign holidays!
Basically I need a sounding board. I'm torn between being absolutely certain (on some days) that my research & judgement is sound to (on other days) reading something new and being fearful of what else I may have missed.
(By the way, I did sign up for a small regular subscription towards the site-worried if you are not aware as I've had my Paypal receipt)
Finally, has anyone ever mentioned your likeness in your photo to Hugh Bonneville? (compliment)

Vanessa Warwick

10:35 AM, 12th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Sharon,

I would be happy to be your sounding board.

I am a landlord of 10 years, with property in London and the south east.

You would be welcome to contact me at vanessawarwick (at) icloud.com

I look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:10 AM, 12th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "12/08/2013 - 10:35":

Very kind offer Vanessa, I don't know where you manage to find the time.

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