Buy to let investors have enjoyed some success in the UK in recent times with rising rents largely keeping pace with rising property prices in certain areas, especially the capital city.

If you are looking to invest some of your money into a buy-to-let property or maybe have an existing property that you want to rent out rather than sell, there are a number of tips and suggestions that may help you to make the most of the opportunity.

Developing a good relationship with people who can help you to get the legal and administrative tasks relating to your property done, such as Slater and Gordon for example, is often a step in the right direction, and here is a look at some of the other factors that impact on your chances of becoming a successful buy-to-let investor.

Understanding what buy-to-let will mean to you and your finances

It may be that you take the view that you are more comfortable with a form of investment that you consider to be more tangible than putting your money into stocks and shares.

Going to any investment scenario with your eyes wide open is critical. This means that if you are considering a buy-to-let investment, you are prepared for the prospect of tying up your capital for a sustained period of time. It also means that you have understood the element of risk involved in the fact that property prices can fall as well as rise and that you may ultimately not earn a profit on your investment, if you don’t get your timing and property selection right.

A whole new set of responsibilities

There are more than a few less than subtle differences between owning your own home and investing in a buy-to-let property.

It is wise to understand these differences and to appreciate that what you are actually doing when you own one or several buy-to-let properties, is setting up a small business enterprise.

There are a number of legal responsibilities that you immediately acquire the moment you become the owner of a buy-to-let property. Although your name is on the title deeds as the registered owner of that property, the moment you allow a tenant in your property under a tenancy agreement, you lose an element of control over the property.

You ultimately have the power to get that tenant to leave at some point if you want to, but that involves going through a legal process and in the meantime, you will automatically assume a number of legal responsibilities as the landlord of the property.

It would be wise to familiarise yourself with the repairing obligations that you are expected to fulfil, under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

Repairs and maintenance of the property are part and parcel of running your own business, as a private landlord.

Keys to success

There are a number of key areas that will be pivotal to your success as a buy-to-let investor.

Being able to manage your borrowing and working out a strategy that allows you to grow your business prudently in the early years, will help build a foundation for the future success of your venture, and understanding what properties make good buy-to-let investments, will also influence your financial destiny.

Develop a set of rules for investing and if they prove to be successful, such as only buying two-bedroom houses for easy renting and maintenance, then sticking to a proven formula by knowing your customer and what they want, will often help you to avoid some costly mistakes.

Isaac Pickering thinks he might have been born with the entrepreneurial spirit. He was the kid at school making money with the latest new craze, and getting older hasn’t changed his ways. Now into real estate investing, Isaac writes for investment/property blogs when he has the time.