Lettings & Property Management Hints and Tips for the International Investor
Once you have purchased an investment property, the next step involves finding the right tenants to fill it. On top of this there a number of tasks to be carried out, from snagging and safety checks, to setting up various schemes and, once the tenant is in, managing them and the property.
Here are a few things to bear in mind when deciding on whether an external agent might be the best way to let and manage your property from afar.
Why find an agent?
As a foreign investor it’s often useful to have a third party on the ground to take care of things when you can’t be there. Agents can handle everything from collecting keys on completion, to finding tenants, looking after your property during its rental period and marketing it to potential buyers once you feel ready to sell it on.
When can you instruct an agent?
Agents can be instructed immediately after purchase and in advance of your completion date. This means an agent can begin marketing your property prior to completion to increase chances of finding tenants and having them ready to move in as early as possible.
What can your agent take care of?
- Collecting keys and handover documents from developer
- Inspecting property (on new-build properties) – snagging, safety checks, meter readings
- Advising on legal requirements and compliance matters before letting
- Arranging furnishings if required
- Marketing to prospective tenants across various property portals, both online and offline, conducting viewings, handling negotiations
- Background checks on tenants – credit referencing, previous landlord, employment checks
- Sorting tenancy agreements for landlord and tenant to sign
- Organising check-in and arranging an inventory of the unit
- Setting up a UK Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme account on owner’s behalf
- Collecting rent every month and passing to investor – liable to international bank transfer charges if no UK bank account and agent may deduct fees on a monthly basis direct from rent
- Paying bills/service charges on your behalf
- Tenant liaison include maintenance enquiries and repairs
- Organising property inspection and arranging for any repairs at end of tenancy and advising on any deductions from tenant’s deposit for loss/damage
- Arranging contents, public liability and rental guarantee insurance on landlord’s behalf
- Remarketing unit at the end of a tenancy for re-letting or sale
What is snagging?
This can be done by your agent. This is an assessment of a new building for any minor faults or defects that need to be rectified before a property is rented out.
Is furniture necessary?
It’s common to furnish properties in England and Wales before letting and it often makes a property more desirable and easier to rent out. Agents can usually help you arrange this and many offer various styles of furniture packages and design services according to your budget and the development into which they will be put to use.
What is the UK Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?
This is a scheme to protect a tenant’s deposit and minimize disputes at the end of a tenancy. An agent can make arrangements for this.
What about tax?
If you have invested in property in the UK as a foreign purchaser you will need to complete a non-resident landlord form for tax purposes. The HM Revenue & Custom’s non-resident landlord scheme ensures foreign investors pay tax on their rental income (at 20%) and obliges the tenant to deduct tax from payments made to overseas landlords. An agent can make sure these tax deductions occur.
There is inevitably a lot to think about to ensure that the unit is let and properly manage din order to maximise your returns and ensure compliance with the tax and legal systems of the market your unit is in. Complete are global specialists in lettings and property management, with more than a thousand units under management in thirteen global markets. With offices in London, Manchester, Berlin, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, our global specialists are on the ground in some of the most attractive residential property investment markets in the world.
Find out more about our process and what we can do for your portfolio by taking our Complete Difference journey, our interactive infographic on our website, call one of our specialists in London on 0203 551 9900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org