Is buy-to-let for you?

On the back of last week’s slightly disappointing news that HMRC see buy-to let landlords as the soft underbelly of their quest to gather in more tax,  I read with interest the Mail on Sunday (March 10) which screams off the pages that the buy-to-let boom is back.  Let me declare at the start that I have always said that if all the expert financial journalists pontificating  in the paper were so clever, they would actually be investors as opposed to jobbing journalists. However, this particular journalist does raise some valid points.  There is indeed an increase in the 40 and 50-something investors who see buy-to-let as a way of giving their children financial security for the future; but I would advise any person thinking of entering the buy-to-let market to consider all the various component parts of their decision.  Do not get carried away with the thought that the rent arrives every month without any prospect of hard work, heartache, frustration and many other emotional and practical challenges.  Be prepared for prostitution rackets, drug raids and even shootings as well as those tenants who always pay and never complain. Before becoming  a landlord, you must be prepared to adopt a long term approach, working hard for your tenant.  Above all, remember that if you do not enjoy meeting people or if you get annoyed with minor irritations such as a boiler breaking down on a saturday evening or somebody ringing you up because they have forgotten how the central heating system works, the buy-to-let market is not for you.