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A cautionary tale for long-distance landlords

As the London property market has seen a drop in returns, landlords have been looking further afield to reap some rewards.  The price of property is one of the main reasons they have decided to manage properties from a distance.  Then add to this the unfavourable tax changes, such as the removal of mortgage interest relief and the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge, together with further legislation.  But becoming a long-distance landlord on your own can leave you open to fraud, and issues with tenants can be difficult to manage from afar.  Therefore, you need to be cautious about committing to becoming a long-distance landlord.


Local knowledge is crucial for understanding the property market, and you’ll want to ensure your investment will prove fruitful and the yields high.  In fact, many Brits living abroad see owning and letting a property in the UK as a safe way of making a return.  Property markets can change, regional variations can see your yields plummet, and choices are made on the scope of the deal rather than being carefully researched for longevity.


Understanding the local market is only one of the advantages of local knowledge. As many local authorities have their own legislation specific to their region, it can be difficult to keep abreast of all the necessary changes.


The risk of being caught out by the disparity in regional rule is one of the warnings given to landlords by David Cox of the Association of Residential Letting Agents:


“Landlords who are considering buying and renting out a property away from their local area are unlikely to be familiar with the market,” he said, adding that “It’s vital they research the area and familiarise themselves with local rents and whether there are any special licensing conditions in place.”


At Rees & Associates we work with many landlords who live a distance away from their properties. In fact, we have a large percentage of investors who live overseas.  The difference is that our landlords have our team to take care of their interests, in addition to their properties, in their absence.


Managing a property is about more than the bricks and mortar; it’s about ensuring you’re making the right investments for your portfolio, and that we’re attracting the right kind of tenants so your tenancies run smoothly.  It’s keeping you updated with legislation changes, both local and national, and making sure you and your property remain compliant.  It’s being there when you can’t and always acting in your best interests.


No matter where you’re located, should you wish to see the benefits of investing in Cambridge or want to grow your portfolio within the region, we can make sure your tale is not a cautionary but a profitable one.  For more information on how we can support you and your portfolio, contact our team today.