Best Ways For Landlords To Cut Costs & Save Money

Becoming a landlord isn’t particularly difficult. Any idiot with a semi-functioning brain and a bit of capital can jump onto this bandwagon- and they generally do. I stand before you as living proof. Not proud, just saying.

However, being a “good” landlord isn’t so straight forward. There’s an unenjoyable learning curve to climb and many bullshit experiences to be burnt by before realising what’s actually going on and knowing right from wrong. It’s all a bit of a euphoric blur, because life is just easier when you don’t know the rules. Ignorance is bliss.

Only when you’ve mustered together a bit of experience, learned the ropes, and then broken down each and every step of being a landlord, from start to finish, you realise how many steps there are. The journey isn’t glamorous or enjoyable, it’s much like working in retail- you’re mostly dealing with broken products and unreasonable people with unsavoury odours exiting every orifice. However, by the end of it, there are some positives to takeaway.

From personal experience and development, one of the most notable and positive changes appears on my balance sheet. Overtime my expenditure has drastically declined, and that’s a beautiful thing.

How did I do it? It’s largely due to the fact that I’m less of an idiot. ‘Wiser’, if you will. Whatever the case may be, I’ve learned and become better at cutting the financial fat and realising what actually keeps the costs down. It isn’t always the cheapest products.

A lot of people will be reading this article, salivating by the prospect of being pointed towards the cheapest alternative products on the market. Unfortunately, you people are going to be bitterly disappointed, and left scratching your asses wondering if the title of this post contains several misprints. I assure you, it doesn’t. However, what I do discuss is BETTER; more reliable, and more efficient ways of maximising profits and keeping costs down. But let me make it clear, there is, unfortunately, no special recipe. If there was, I’d be semi-retired, and selling the recipe for a shitload, while drowning in a sea of tits. But I’m not, I’m here, with you, blogging on a Friday night, while my mum is downstairs separating my whites from my colours.

A lot of what I discuss may seem like common sense, and I guess it is, and that’s why much of what I’ve written here is already be covered in my Guide for new Landlords, but that’s the thing, I’ve learnt that most of the best money saving tips is based on general good practice, and nothing else.

What did I miss? Got your own tips? Leave a comment…

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29 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Rob 15th July, 2014 @ 07:36

As a first time landlord I'm just starting to learn the ropes. Thanks very much for this excellent article, super useful and very entertaining too :-)

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The Landlord 15th July, 2014 @ 19:25

Many thanks, Rob! Appreciated! Glad you found it useful :)

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PRachman 19th July, 2014 @ 22:42

I know you've covered it elsewhere, but one of the most valuable money saving tips you've given (and I wish I'd read it earlier)is the one about not rushing into getting professionals to fix things before you have had a look yourself.9 times out of 10 it is something relatively simple to sort, and you will have wasted £££.

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The Landlord 20th July, 2014 @ 09:25

Ahh of course! Can't believe I missed that point out! Thanks for reminding me, it's now been added to the list!

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Joanne 20th July, 2014 @ 20:50

I'm going back to doing it all myself after using a letting agent for the past few years with unhappy results which I felt I had no control over - at least when I was doing it myself before, all the mistakes were mine and I knew what was going on! The way you write is so accessible and not patronising and has given me the confidence to say that yes actually I'm doing a damn good job in all the circumstances! So this section of your blog is particularly helpful at the moment. Thanks.

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The Landlord 21st July, 2014 @ 08:28

Brilliant, it's always great to hear when landlords are inspired to go it alone! Good luck, and thanks for your comments! :)

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boboff 24th July, 2014 @ 07:05

The forum does not appear to be functioning, which is a shame.

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The Landlord 24th July, 2014 @ 08:27

Cheers boboff! I'm working on it right now!

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boboff 24th July, 2014 @ 12:47

Good Man.

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Property Investment 26th July, 2014 @ 19:14

First time visit on your blog really that was amazing information for all property investment users.
Thanks for giving this information.

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Richard 23rd August, 2014 @ 08:47

I've been a landlord for over 5 years now. All great tips, and I'd agree with them all except the part on agents fees. You may immediately think. 'What's this joker on about?' but I say this with good reason.

I have lived 1-2 hours drive away from my rental property and to do viewings is simply impossible. If I lived closer then I think I'd give an online site a go, but again this would come down to how much time I would have to invest showing people round the property, filing in forms for references, filing the deposit and doing the inventory. I get an agent to do all this for a fixed fee. I agree that one needs to be careful when selecting this agent though. Ensure it is just a finders and move in fee. Make sure you are getting everything thrown in for a fixed price. Most importantly brochure the first time you do this and play the good agents off against each other. Then go back to the same agent, who did the job will last time, and say you want the same service for the same price again. Now some sunshine up their behind to get them to say yes by telling them what a wonderful job they always do.

I like to think of this whole thing as playing them at their own game. One thing I would not do though, is have them manage it. I did this in the first 2 years and it is a complete rip off. Make sure you are only signing up to a finders fee, plus allthe other stuff I mentioned thrown in. I pay £540 inc VAT for this luxury and get quality vetted tenants. Iinvest no time apart from some phone calls to encourage the agent along and I've never had a vacant property or any tenant issues.

I realise I may have got lucky, but after 3 sets of tenants I think my luck would have run out. It works for me. My advice is give it a go and see if it can work for you. Saves a ton of my precious time.

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Richkid 29th August, 2014 @ 23:39

Great info about property, thumbs up.
Richkid

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Deeks67 31st August, 2014 @ 20:59

Great site man , good to read sumfin without all the jargon . Im looking to use pension cash when im 55 next year to start myself off . Ill be watching your blog and will contribute , thanks .
Derek

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Sonia 13th October, 2014 @ 17:42

Hi
I going to be a first time landlord there is much to learn about doing the right things. The property coming with tenants is this better. Do you think I should change the old tenancy agreement. The estate agent who showed me around the property when I was buying. They said they can manage everything for me like the rent and others bits.
Thanks sonia

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The Landlord 13th October, 2014 @ 18:17

For those I haven't replied to and mentioned that they found this page/website useful, thanks for the support, really appreciate it!

@Sonia,

It depends on how good the tenants are, could be a good or bad situation to be in.

I would ask the agent how long the tenants have been there, and maybe even talk to the current landlord to get a tenant reference (although, the odds are the landlord might be biased). However, if the tenants have been there for a long time, it's probably safe to assume they are good, rent-paying tenants. It's well worth talking to the tenants directly as well, just to get an idea of what kind of characters they are.

If everything seems ok, I don't see the point of paying an agent to manage the property. All you're effectively going to be doing is paying them to collect rent and pass it onto you.

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Stella 4th February, 2015 @ 10:58

I am so glad I've stumbled across your site - the honest, down-to-earth advice is invaluable, and very amusing too...thank you!!

From a fledgling landlady

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Fiona 11th February, 2015 @ 22:40

Thanks for all the tips, one question - if maintaining the property yourself (landlord) eg painting windows, pointing etc. How do you claim this on the tax return?

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The Landlord 12th February, 2015 @ 00:38

Hi Fiona,

You don't "claim", you offset the expenses against your profit, so you pay less tax.

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Diane 9th March, 2015 @ 12:30

Hi , we've been doing up a property for a few months now and have paid council tax and water rated although the the property has been unoccupied . Can I claim this against tax relief or does it have to go on capital increase ? Great tips btw.

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Renee 22nd July, 2015 @ 19:06

Hey, your blog is so helpful, currently I'm looking for my first house to buy and need all the info necessary and you have taught me things I have never even heard of. My mum used to be a property developer and she's been out the business quite a while so this is a great freshener. 👍🏾

My idea is to buy a 3/4 bed property and make a house share have you got any recommendations regarding bills, council tax, putting in wifi and how far I should go in regards to furnishing?

Thanks Renee😀

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wendy 10th September, 2015 @ 09:59

Just come across this site very down to earth straight to the point. Luv it, now in my favorites.

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Sharon 28th November, 2015 @ 16:53

Great website.... looking forward to using it and reading blog... by the way wicked sense of humour 😉

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Isaac 7th April, 2016 @ 17:04

I'm refurbishing an old three-bed semi detached house to rent out and had an electrician inspect the property. He said there is no need to rewire the system but I need to update it, including fitting a more modern 10 way consumer unit with 6 RCBOs, as well as various other small jobs. His quote was £2400 + 500 for "unforeseen changes", +VAT. I think this quote is very high indeed.

Do I really need to spend this much on "updating" the electrics, especially when I have to spend so much on all the other stuff and when I'm already over budget?
Your output will be very much appreciated.

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Stella 7th April, 2016 @ 17:19

Get some more quotes. You should never compromise on safety if upgrades are required but you don't want to be paying out any more than you have to as you say. Many companies charge you over the odds if you are a landlord so just be wary of this.

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Isaac 8th April, 2016 @ 10:33

Thank you, Stella. I just had another huge quote for the garden. It's a massive 30 x 10 meters back garden which needs complete turfing. The quote was £1350 just for the turf, plus preparing the soil. My wife suggested doing it ourselves by doing all the pre-preparation and using grass seeds, all for a fraction of the cost. Yes, a bit of hard work but saving a lot of money.

Any other money saving gems from other landlords?....

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Stella 8th April, 2016 @ 11:26

Isaac

I've written a selection of property related articles on hub pages some of which might help you save a few pennies.

Here is a link to one of them :

http://hubpages.com/living/Avoid-the-void

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Bun-Head 8th April, 2016 @ 12:24

I like your site-its Hilarious! I read it for the entertainment value as well as for the information. You put everything down in very simple terms which is refreshing

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nikki 9th June, 2016 @ 05:40

Hello, its my first time renting my home as i am abroad past year.

Any repair work done on my flat during this time, the costs are deducted from the rent payment placed into my bank account. I have asked for invoices of the costs and the estate agents will not give it to me. so i don't know if they are charging me alot and taking some of the money for themselves or not. in other words i don't know if tey are honest or not. do i have right to get invoices. i haev asked many times and they will not give it to me. can you please advise me?

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jules 23rd September, 2017 @ 16:40

I'm finding this site very helpful after falling into a few newbie mistakes but letting out second time around I will be more vigilant with paper work. thanks

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