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Buying a rental property is all about opportunity spotting. Picking the right places, at the right price, to get the best return.

Exactly what property is best for you, of course, depends on your priorities. Do you want a steady income? A big profit? Or are you looking to contribute towards the housing sector in your local community? While these goals are different, they all share a common aspect: choosing the right property.


To ensure your goals are met, it helps to know what to look for when buying a rental property. So, before you hunt out your next buy-to-let property, keep these five key factors in mind to avoid troubles down the road.

1. Local facilities and services

For a lot of tenants, amenities will fall pretty highly on their list of priorities.

Short distances to local shops and services means less time spent travelling from place to place. Cities tend to excel in this regard, acting as a central hub for entertainment, transport, food, and nightlife.

Before taking the plunge into a rental property, take some time to familiarise yourself with these features, as some may form an integral part to your tenant’s reasons for renting. This will enable you to put in those all-too influential “short walk to city centre”-type of claims in your advertisements.

Person paying at shop using contactless

2. Local rental market

With a buy-to-let property, you’ll want to ensure your rental costs are competitive with the local average.

Depending on where your house is located, its size, and quality of finish, the standard of rent may increase or decrease, so it’s good to know what you’re up against in the market.

Knowing what else is out there will allow you to accurately set a rate that is realistic for the type of property you have, and where it’s located.

You can also check out our buy to let city tracker. Our annual tracker looks at which cities in the UK are best for landlords like you looking to acquire new property.


3. Resale value

The resale value of your property is subject to all kinds of features, so you’ll want to buy one with enough of an opportunity to make your money back.

While you may not necessarily be thinking about the resale value of a property, especially if renting is your priority, it’s definitely a good thing to be mindful of when choosing your next place to buy.

If the rental market dries up, or if you later decide to step back from your landlord responsibilities, knowing that there’s still money to be made by selling your new house is a great position to be in.


4. Nearby tradesmen

This next tip depends on how involved you wish to be with the maintenance of your property, but having a reliable, local tradesman that you can trust nearby is invaluable when choosing a buy-to-let property.

If you’re buying in an unknown area that you don’t have much experience with, we recommend searching for reviews left by local homeowners and landlords alike on review sites.

After gathering a list of potential candidates, consider reaching out and discussing their rates on some standard household tasks, such as:

  • Fixing a leak
  • Treating damp
  • Fitting various appliances (radiators, fuse boxes, etc.)
  • Conducting tests (EPCs, EICRs, gas safety, etc.)

It’s always useful to know that you have someone dependable just a phone call away. If you're looking for more information on how to find reliable tradesmen for your rental properties, you may be interested in our recent article on finding the right tradespeople



5. Nearby developments

When choosing a buy-to-let property, it’s good to be aware of any upcoming developments to the area.

New housing developments, especially those being built while you’re searching for a property, show that developers believe the area has some money-making potential. Buying a property in such an area is great because it indicates further growth from the same developer (or a different one), alongside a gradual increase in property values as time goes by.

It is also worth researching the exact location of any planned building. Ideally, this would not be adjacent to a property you are buying as disruptive works can be off-putting to tenants.

Bonus tip: Government investment

If an area has recently received an influx of investment from the local government, be sure to account for this in your searches.

Government investment signposts a commitment to the local area and its inhabitants, which is seen through developing infrastructure with better rail or bus services, enhancing nearby public buildings such as community centres and libraries, and more attention paid towards the upkeep of local roads and towns.

This investment can bring increased demand for rental properties from people wishing to move into areas that are well-kept and supported by local authorities.


Landlords, we hear you

Whether you’re a portfolio landlord looking to extend your property repertoire, or if you’re just considering the idea of being a landlord and are reviewing your options, talk to your intermediary about the options available from Aldermore.


Find out about our buy to let mortgages