Expat landlords investing in UK property

The fall in the value of the pound against the Euro is making the U.K. property market increasingly attractive to expats.

The pound has dropped by almost 15% against the euro over the past year and means that buy-to-let investors based abroad now get more for their money when buying property in Britain.

The Skipton Building Society has seen a marked increase in expat investors coming into the UK property market – receiving almost double the enquiries for the same period last year.

However, expats have a number of challenges to face when investing back in Blighty.

One of these is obtaining mortgage finance. There are only a handful of lenders – Skipton being one of them – that offer expat mortgages, and these are typically around 50% loan to value, meaning a deposit of 50% is required.

Another is sourcing and then managing the property, which is challenging enough, without being thousands of miles away!

We covered many of these issues in our recent blog – Buying an investment property outside of your local area.

All ex-pat landlords need to do their upmost to mitigate risks, because these are greatly amplified when the landlord is not local to the area and cannot view and visit the property and is reliant on a third party to manage the tenancy.

One way to do this is buy a property that is already tenanted. This means starting out with a clear understanding of the rental income, a track record of how the tenancy is running, and income from day one of ownership.

Northwood compiles an “Investor List” of properties for sale in our network that are tenanted and/or suited to investment.

Find out more about our Investor List of properties for sale, suited to investment

Then, to give complete expat landlord peace of mind, opt for our Guaranteed Rent service.  This does what it says on the tin – your rent is guaranteed whether the property is void or the tenant fails to pay the rent.

Of over 13,000 landlords across the U.K. using this service, a growing proportion of them are expat landlords looking for a “hands free” solution, as obviously you are not going to be able to pop over from Hong Kong if your tenant reports that the roof has been damaged in the storms we are currently experiencing here in the UK, for instance!

With Northwood, in essence, we become your tenant, and our Guaranteed Rent service is the original and best, having been operating for over 20 years now.  It is the most trusted Guaranteed Rent service in the market place.

Check out some of our landlord testimonials:

When starting out as a landlord, it reduces your risk to consider all the things that could go wrong, and then take steps to mitigate them.  An expat landlord should adopt an even more risk-averse approach to ensure that they do not buy a property that turns out to be a liability and causes not only financial loss, but also heartache and emotional stress.

Imagine discovering that your tenant 3,000 miles away has not paid their rent, and will not answer any communications from you!  Or that you get a call from the police to say that your tenant has been arrested for a crime and is on remand. Or that the property is void and viewings are hard to come by.  Or that you engage a maintenance person who claims to do the work, you pay him, but the tenant says the work was never undertaken.  These are real-life issues that landlords have faced, and “cure” is always at far greater cost than “prevention”!  Expats landlords need to place an even greater emphasis on “prevention” in our opinion.

Our Guaranteed Rent service addresses all the issues and gives you complete peace of mind.

Buying a tenanted property through Northwood and then opting for our Guaranteed Rent service is a great solution for expat landlords looking to benefit from the favourable market conditions, at very low risk.

All our 80 plus offices around the UK are able to advise on location, property type etc. and can do so over email, Skype, or telephone – even taking into account time differences.

It is our aim to support our landlords throughout their property ownership lifecycle and ensure they survive and prosper.  Professional advice and support mitigates risk and gives peace of mind, and our Guaranteed Rent service has ensured many expat landlords can invest in the UK safely, profitable, and without experiencing worry or stress.

You can find your nearest office >>> here.

Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

Find us on Twitter @northwoodUK or visit our YouTube Channel.
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