4 Ways you can make the most of your buy to let property in London

The property market can be a risky means of investing your cold hard cash, but if done properly and with well-informed intentions, it can provide a suitable profit. Buy-to-let property in London is in particularly high demand, due to the high supply of jobs and educational opportunities present in London, so it is a safe - if expensive - place to look to invest as a landlord.

It is important to remember that property in London is by no means cheap, and people accustomed to London are used to certain standards of living, so you will need to thoroughly assess and amend your property before letting it out. We�ve listed four ways in which you can help increase the revenue on your property and also increase your chances of getting a long-term tenant. 

1. Loft Conversion
First of all, when looking at loft conversions you want to check whether or not your property is capable of supporting a loft conversion. There are companies who will be able to provide inspections and give you a quotation of the approximate costs of converting your loft into a habitable space. Converting your loft space into a usable space provides an extra avenue for profit, can serve as an office or extra bedroom and also contributes to increasing the worth of the property in general. It is seen as a worthwhile investment by many landlords, particularly in London.

As with any conversion, extension or construction, it is important that you gain planning permission if you plan to extend your loft out in any way. Starting construction without having acquired the necessary documents is a recipe for disaster and will often lead to you simply wasting time and money on an illegal construction that will soon be ordered down. Make sure your local governing board and your surrounding neighbours are aware of the planned works and that they have been approved before going ahead.

2. Bathroom/Kitchen Renovation
The bathroom and the kitchen are both crucial rooms in the property, and if one or the other looks a little worse for wear, potential tenants are likely to quickly start looking elsewhere. Bathrooms, in particular, can be hotbeds of mould, damp and mildew, which is an expensive defect to rectify and can also damage the health of your tenants. Renovate the kitchen or bathroom of your property and you are far more likely to find a suitable tenant.

3. Improve your EPC
An EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is a certificate that lists the energy performance rating of that property. Properties are rated from A to G, A being most energy efficient and G being the least. The certificate will provide an analysis of your energy expenditure as well as offering advice on how to improve your energy rating. This can be done by increasing loft insulation, wall cladding and the like, installing double glazing on windows or even switching to energy saving light bulbs as a means of reducing your intake and output.

Properties with high energy ratings are worth more on the market as they have a smaller carbon footprint and are more cost effective when looking at heating and electricity bills in comparison to properties with lower ratings. Ergo, by improving your EPC, you improve your chances of finding a long term tenant to rent out to.

4. High Quality Flooring
Flooring, whether it is tiled, laminate, timber or even carpets, is subject to far more general wear and tear than the walls and ceiling are likely to incur over the course of the tenancy. As such, it is important that a high quality or durable material is sourced and installed. Even if you are renting out to tenants of a fairly low income, it does no good if your cost-effective flooring has to be replaced due to general wear and tear every six months.

Added to the fact that London is an incredibly busy city, so spending time on your buy-to-let property in London is less of a �five minute� job and will more often than not take the entire day. By investing in a high-quality flooring style, you can reduce the maintenance costs of your property and also reduce the time you spend over at the property, fixing sub-standard flooring issues. More time and money can be invested elsewhere and you get to experience a less stressful relationship with your tenants.

Finding a good rhythm when renting out property in London can take some time, particularly if you are just starting out. Property management experts will be able to provide professional advice on what to do covering a range of issues, so if you have any doubts you can always ask advice from an expert. However, property renting in London can be an extremely profitable business if done right, so try to put your best foot forward when looking at the potential property market in London!

This article was supplied by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry working alongside a selection of companies including investment specialists Property Frontiers, who were consulted over the information in this piece.

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