Susannah Cole

Savers look to become landlords

An increasing number of people in the Bristol area looking for a safe haven for their money are becoming landlords as the rental property market continues to provide strong returns, according to one of the city’s property experts.

While the pound is falling, interest rates dropping to record lows and financial uncertainty following the Brexit vote bricks and mortar are holding up as an investment especially in Bristol, says Susannah Cole of the Good Property Company.

Susannah, who started the Good Property Company in 2011 as a kitchen table start-up, has sourced, bought and sold or let more than 200 properties with a value of £45 million and now runs a mentoring programme for would-be landlords.

She said: “We are now finding more and more people are seeing the prospect of being a landlord as the best way to get a return for their money. At times of financial uncertainty people head for bricks and mortar and with a strong demand for rental property in Bristol it is a city that is attracting interest.

“In recent years we have seen a lot of people flipping property, where they buy it, spend some money improving it and then sell it on. Now we are finding that those people want to hold on to the properties and take the rental for a while.

“But people should not enter into being a rental property owner lightly. Of course there are agencies that can help you manage a property but being the owner comes with responsibilities and it is a highly regulated legal environment.

“We are finding the best of these new landlords have taken the time to draw up a proper business plan and answered questions such as which type of property they want to own – there is a huge difference, for instance, in the amount of work involved in managing a property with a single occupier or managing a property with multiple occupiers.”

The Good Property Company, based in Paintworks, Bristol, is helping around 50 new landlords get to grips with the issues they face through its education programme.

Different parts of the city have different issues facing them but the Greater Bristol area is still one of the most attractive areas of the country for landlords looking for strong financial returns.

Said Susannah Cole: “Nobody has a crystal ball and there will always be good deals and bad deals in property but by thinking ahead and planning those who want to put their savings and investments into rental property in Bristol can make returns at the moment that outweigh most other places you might invest. There are great tenants in Bristol who are a please to work with, and we guide landlords to those customer segments who represent great tenants.

“The uncertainty on the financial markets is likely to continue for at least another few years as the Government negotiate the country’s exit from the EU with lots of twists and turns along the way, but people will always need somewhere to live and those trying to rent or buy a property in Bristol know how hard it is to find a place at the moment.”

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