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The Pros and Cons of Owning Property to Let

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 26 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Buying-to-let Rental Property Income

Owning property is most likely to be one of the most profitable investments you will make, which is why purchasing an additional residence becomes an appealing option for many individuals.

Realising that the cost of this secondary purchase could actually be paid for by tenants willing to rent your property makes buying-to-let more easily affordable.

If you already own a second home you may be considering giving up your seasonal use of this home in exchange for the regular income that letting the property would provide you with.

If however, you have been contemplating buying a second home, for personal use, for some time, buying-to-let can open up the opportunity to put the financial rewards of rental income to use in other areas.

For instance, the income could help you pay for existing expenses, personal indulgences or renovation of your own home, over time.


There is now a standard variable mortgage rate for buy-to-let. The variety of loans on offer however, also includes fixed rates and discounts so be sure to do your research carefully. Financial investments of this size however, need to be carefully considered.


Benefits of owning additional property may include:

  • Probable appreciation of market value, which provides capital growth.
  • Maximum leverage.

  • Tax-deferred benefits.
  • Ownership pride.
  • The potential of earning an income from rental.


  • Rising interest rates could considerably affect the size of your mortgage payments.
  • There are many hidden costs that you will be responsible for paying. These include fitting out costs, maintenance and repairs, insurance, water rates, Council Tax etc.
  • No matter how attractive your property is, there may be rent-free periods when you are unable to find tenants willing to rent your property. You will however, still have to cover the mortgage payments during this period.
  • If you are unable to cover the management of the rental yourself, bear in mind that you will have to cover the expenses of a letting agent.

Location, Location, Location

Location is always the key to owning any kind of property. If you don’t already own a second home that you are able to rent out, make sure you thoroughly research the area you are considering buying-to-let in. Properties with more than one bedroom will be instantly more appealing to potential tenants, and homes with good access to facilities in the area will also be of interest.

Whilst buying for the market makes sense, owning a property that you would feel comfortable living in yourself also has merit. In fact, the easiest option would be to buy a property and to live in it yourself whilst renovating, decorating and/or preparing for rental.

Home for Rent

Ideally the monthly rent you charge on your property should cover the cost of your mortgage payment, taxes and expenses. Be sure that you feel comfortable about the prospects of being a landlord. Carefully vetting potential tenants may save you a lot of grief in the long-run. Qualifying that they will be able to pay the rent on time, whilst not wrecking or damaging your property should be top of your list of priorities.

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