Buy-to-let - Getting Started

Buy-to-let properties have become a very popular form of investment over the past two decades and the trend is set to continue as mortgage lenders develop new products dedicated to the buy-to-let market. Changes to the pension market have also boosted interest in this most tangible of investments.

Providing you have an adequate deposit to put down or adequate equity in your main home, buy-to-let remains an excellent long term investment, providing both income and capital growth despite occasional fluctuations in the property market. Buy to Let should always be seen as a medium to long term investment.

The key to success with buy-to-let is not to buy with your heart, but to buy with your head. Make sure you choose a property that is in demand in the area and not necessarily one that you would want to live in yourself.

Tenant demand is strong and looks set to continue to grow as first time buyers buy much later in life and still struggle to raise deposits in many cases. Attitudes to renting have changed and it is now seen as a perfectly acceptable alternative to home ownership, as it is in many other European countries.

Buy to Let properties can make you money in two ways:

1. Capital Growth (the value of your property going up)
2. Rental income

Whilst a buy-to-let property can make you money, it also has the potential to lose you money if you choose wrongly or the market experiences a drastic change. Make sure you have contingencies in place so that you can afford any drops in the property market, interest rate changes or vacant periods. You can insure against non-payers, we can recommend a provider.

Linley & Simpson are here to help make sure that your investment is a profitable one and not one that will cost you money.

Thinking of investing?


Sign up to our mailing list

Current BUY-TO-LET properties



2 Beds - Flat

potential rent: £575pcm



2 Beds - Terraced








2 Beds - Apartment




3 Beds - Semi-Detached

potential rent: £850pcm

What our clients say about us...

Andy at Linley and Simpson was instrumental in helping me sell my flat at the Gateway Leeds. The photos and advertising of the property was first rate, customer service prompt and helpful and a fantastic offer was secured within a few weeks of being ...

Mr Dry - Vendor (February 2020)

I would recommend Linley & Simpson Saltaire to friends and family because they sold our house that was not on the market when we originally contacted them within four weeks. They also helped us find our dream home. I have already recommended them to ...

Mrs Alexander - Seller (July 2018)

I'd recommend Linley & Simpson Horsforth to a friend because they were friendly, professional and communicated well with us throughout the moving process. We felt confident that David would be an effective agent for us. He came across as friendly,...

Mrs C - Seller (July 2018)

The experience at Linley & Simpson Saltaire was fantastic because they work really well as a team, caring for sellers and buyers, remembering that the sale or purchase of any building is an emotional upheaval; they bring a calming approach which pass...

Mrs P - Buyer (December 2017)

I have found the level of service from all individuals involved in the lettings process professional, efficient, knowledgeable and supportive. You have listened, provided advice and delivered what you have agreed in a timely manner. I would highly re...

Landlord - Horsforth (October 2017)

My experience at Linley & Simpson Leeds was positive because from the very start nothing was too much for Andy and Amy. Their communication was fantastic and always kept my informed. I was pleased with the valuation and final price obtained. Completi...

Miss Charlotte Burr (September 2017)

A big thanks to Jeremy and all at Linley & Simpson for a top class service. If we have any other properties in Leeds you will be definitely our first port of call.

Solicitor (August 2016)

In March 2015 we decided to tentatively look into the possibility of purchasing a Buy-to-Let investment property. Our research began by approaching a local branch of Linley & Simpson - we’d heard good reports. To abbreviate: our first port of ca...

Mrs J, Roundhay (February 2016)

Really impressed with Linley & Simpson (the best estate agents by far)

Landlord, Harrogate (February 2016)

We purchased a flat in Ilkley through Linley and Simpson. They have always been both professional and personal, and provided service way beyond what one normally gets from an estate agent. Sarah Harris stayed with us every step of the way, helping to...

Mr & Mrs Clark, Buyers, Ilkley (February 2016)

How can we help?

Linley & Simpson have specialised in lettings for over two decades, we have dedicated teams to manage all aspects of the property once you are ready to let, but where you should really take advantage of our expertise is in the buying process. We can give you insights into the market and provide you with all the information you could need.

Here are just a few ways we can help:

1. Property appraisal

At the earliest stage of your buy-to-Let investment make sure you contact your local branch to carry out an appraisal on the property you are looking to buy. It is always best to get an independent appraisal on the property and not just advice from the agent that is selling the property. There are several reasons for this:

a. Over Valuation - the agent selling the property may just tell you what you want to hear to agree the sale - don't forget that the agent only gets a commission when a sale is completed.

As a dedicated Letting Agent who has moved into sales our specialist lettings experience means we know what a realistic rental price will be, we wont just 'quote you happy' to get the business - A property won't let if it is overpriced, costing you money in void periods.

b. Demand in the area - again we will be able to advise on whether there is demand for the type of property in question. As the largest independent Letting Agent in Yorkshire our database of active applicants is always growing, resulting in us being able to give you a realistic indication into the demand for your property.

c. Work to be carried out - we will be able to advise on any work that will be needed to adhere to legal requirements and also any work that will be needed to achieve the best possible rent. You may not need to carry out as much work as you think.

2. Access to over 10000 potential tenants

Our database of active tenants means that as soon as you choose us to market your property we will email all applicants who are looking for a property similar to yours.

3. Reduce void periods

Most agents will ask for tenants to give 1 months notice when they are looking to end the tenancy, as a company we ask for 2 months notice. This allows us to market your property for an extra month, reducing the risk of your property standing empty.

We also have a dedicated renewals department who actively work towards renewing tenancies, again reducing the risk of void periods.

4. We're a qualified ARLA agent

The Association of Residential Letting Agents is the leading professional body which sets standards for and regulates reputable agents. Members are required to work within a robust Code of Practice, which includes handling clients' money, having professional indemnity insurance in place and dealing appropriately with complaints.

So what's next?

1. Talk to us first - we're here to guide you. Use our experience to make the best possible choices.

2. Take a look at some of the stock we currently offer - your ideal property could be sat there waiting, maybe even with a tenant already in place!

Buy-to-let Frequently asked questions

Why do I need to use a letting agent?

Because there is no substitute for local knowledge and expertise when choosing or letting a buy-to-let property. We've been in the business long enough to have let most types of property in most streets within our marketplace. We know what is achievable and what is frankly sometimes pie in the sky! We'll select the right tenants for you and help you avoid costly and distressing mistakes.

Why choose Linley and Simpson?

Because our advice will be independent and accurate. We don't over-value just to get your instruction because we value our reputation, we're in business for the long term and mainly because we want to be able to let your property once we have it! Other reasons to choose us.

Where should I buy?

Some Landlords feel reassured by only buying in areas that they know well whilst others are simply not interested in the geography, only in the financial return. Both approaches can work out well if you're open to our advice. We won't claim to be able to predict every new hotspot but we can certainly tell you where major developers are active, where other investors are buying and where major new transport links or facilities are planned.

What type of property should I buy?

This usually depends on the location in which you want to buy and the level of local competition but as a rule smaller properties will let more quickly. Whatever the type, all properties need to be well-maintained, modernised and well-decorated catering to as many people's tastes as possible. Try to balance your own tastes with those of your target market.

Do you offer buy-to-let mortgages?

No, but we have links with reputable companies who can help. Just ask our staff for details.

Can you guarantee my rental income?

We can set up preferential rental protection cover for you via a trusted provider which will include free legal costs cover. Good agents have fewer problems with Tenants but there are always risks associated with any form of investment. This product is there to provide you with complete peace of mind should you require it.

Will I pay tax on the rental income?

You are required to declare any income from property but you can usually offset most, if not all, of your expenses against it. In our experience tax liability is not usually a deciding factor in Buying to Let, however, if you wish we can recommend tax accountants to you. Special rules apply if you are living overseas for six months or more in any one tax year. More details can be found on Tax associated with buy-to-let.

Is there any legislation that I should be aware of?

Yes, there are a whole raft of legal obligations and restrictions which are growing all the time. This is why we recommend that you choose a reputable Letting Agent to act for you. Always look for the ARLA logo. See our Landlord's Guide to Letting for more details. We always ensure that we are at the forefront of any changes and will help you comply with your personal obligations.

What should I do first?

Contact your nearest Linley and Simpson branch and our staff will guide you through the whole process from choosing the right property to moving your first tenant in. Find your nearest branch.

Latest buy-to-let news

The Property Ombudsman
NAEA Propertymark
ARLA Propertymark
On the Market January 2015
Martin House Logo