There has been several recent changes which may put people off buying property to let but buy to let properties can still present a good investment opportunity.

If you are considering buy to let then there are some important factors to consider:

-          Is it the right investment

Property is a long term investment. Can you afford to have funds tied up and not accessible in a hurry.

-          Do your research

Speak to an independent agent who knows the area. What are the best types of property, where are the areas to look. A good agent will be willing to advise you irrespective of which agent is selling the property. It shouldn’t mean you have to buy from them.

-          The finances

Don’t commit until you know it is affordable. Achievable rents may go down as well as up so make sure your sums work from the lower end to the upper. Interest rates are currently at an historic low but this could change.

Make sure you look at all mortgage products, not just the first one you find. It is worth considering using a buy to let specialist who has access to the whole market.

-          The negative factors

There will be times when a property may be empty, perhaps between tenancies where you have no rental income but still have the outgoings including mortgage, council tax etc.

Using a reputably, and licensed agent, will help minimise the risk but there is no guarantee in finding the perfect tenant.

-          Choosing an agent                                                    

Depending on how involved you want to be you will need to choose to manage the property yourself or employ an agent. An agent will charge a fee but they should take away the worry of collecting rent , dealing with the tenants on a daily basis and the potential problems which arise.

Research any agent you are considering and compare prices between agents based on the service they provide. It may not be the cheapest option which provides you the protection you require.

The golden rule is use a reputable, licensed agent. The main governing body for the industry is The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Look out for the ARLA Logo.