By Simon Westwell, Lettings Manager for Petty Estate Agents
With the pension regulation changes that have taken effect in April 2015, Petty’s is already seeing a boom in interest in the buy-to-let market across East Lancashire. The new regulation allows people aged 55 and over to access part or all of their pension pot, and as this comes at a time when stocks remain volatile and interest rates remain low, the prospect of owning a rental property becomes all the more appealing.
There are now an estimated two million private landlords in the UK who own and rent out 4.4 million homes, that is almost one in five homes across the country*. This is set to increase widely as the move to own a rental property, which not only provides a regular income, but which appreciates in value is now being considered by many as an alternative to a more traditional pension fund by the so called, ‘Silver Landlord’.
Simon Westwell, Petty’s Lettings Manager said: “In response to the new legislation, the opportunities for those approaching retirement are certainly opening up with even more avenues to consider than ever before. Encouraged by an increase in tenant demand accompanied with steady gains in capital appreciation of property, it is easy to see why such an investment is attractive to people in this situation.
“However, whilst the attraction is clear, I would encourage people to take heed of one piece of advice and that is to gather your facts first. It is vital to understand that any property purchased for rental purposes needs to be treated as the investment that is and that all the legal requirements that come with that are understood and adhered to.”
Whether you are a silver landlord or an ardent landlord, the rules are the same and any decision is not to be taken lightly. The key to success is to find the tenant demand first, and then the property that will meet the needs of that demand, and working with a local and knowledgeable agent will pay dividends.
Simon added: “Before signing on the dotted line, do the research and speak to the experts. They can guide on locations that are worth investing in, history of rental properties in the areas, and also the yield you can expect based on their vast experience to make sure the sums add up for you. It is also imperative you decide how involved you want to be too, as this is not to be viewed as a passive investment. Again, experts offer fully managed services so you can reap the rewards of your investments without the worry of legalities and the endless demands from tenants.”