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The most common way of buying a property to let is through a buy-to-let mortgage, although there are restrictions on the age and property type these mortgages may cover. Buy-to-let borrowers will also face similar 'affordability' tests to homeowners.
There are plenty of buy-to-let deals available from mainstream lenders and specialist brokers, but they do tend to be more expensive than conventional mortgages. The majority of lenders also demand a much bigger deposit than with a standard mortgage, normally a minimum of 15% of the property value, although many can ask for up to 30% or more.
There are numerous other costs to factor into the equation: conveyancing costs, legal fees, stamp duty, survey costs and possible letting and managing agent fees. Income tax (on the rental profits you make) and capital gains tax (if you sell the property). The cost of landlord insurance, ongoing maintenance and repair and buying furniture if you want to let furnished will also need to be accounted for.
Mortgage repayments will still have to be met even if the property is empty. It's essential that you consult legal, financial, tax and property management professionals such as the team at Access Legal before purchasing any property you wish to let. Their advice will hopefully prevent any unforeseen problems and give you the information you need so you can make an informed decision about becoming a landlord.