Landlord options

Landlord options

The information in this guide was last updated on 09/09/2014


Becoming a landlord can be financially rewarding, but make sure you understand your costs and obligations before you change your day job.

Becoming a landlord

There are many different ways to become a landlord. Perhaps you have inherited a property that you want to keep but not to live in or maybe you have your eyes on a property that you wish to acquire with a view to rent out.

In most cases, the likelihood is that you’ll probably need a Buy to Let mortgage. However, if you have decided that you’re buying outright, you won’t need a mortgage to finance the purchase – unless you decide to use your investment to buy several properties. If you decide to rent out your existing home and move elsewhere then you may not need a Buy to Let mortgage either. But you must tell your mortgage provider and request a ‘consent to let’.

You could...

  • rent out a spare room to a lodger
  • rent out a property you already own
  • buy a property with a view to renting it out.

In all cases if you have a mortgage you'll need to contact your mortgage provider to check what their policy is towards renting, whether to a tenant or a lodger.

Calculating the return on your investment

The property that you buy and the tenants that you aim to attract will be driven by your underlying reason for entering into Buy to Let. There are two ways that you can seek to make a return on your investment: capital growth and rental income. Most people are looking for a combination of these, but it’s likely that your underlying reasons for investing mean you will place more focus on one or the other.

Your rental income* depends on factors like the size, condition and location of your property. The quickest way to get an idea of your property’s potential income is to contact a local estate agent for an estimate, just as you would if you were selling a house. As for capital growth, the term is commonly used to describe the change in property value over time. Just like with all property purchase decisions, you need to have calculated your likely incomings and outgoings.

Remember that whatever you earn in income will have to cover maintenance, repairs, management fees, any mortgage payments on the property and empty periods in between tenants.


*You might need to pay tax on any profits you make renting out a property.  You can read more about tax on rented property at GOV.uk

Landlord responsibilities

Moving full-time into Buy to Let