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Is buy-to-let a good investment?

Posted 24/04/2024 by Robyn Hall

It’s an age-old conundrum. Is buying a property to let (or buy-to-let) in the UK a good investment or not?

Just like any investment, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, risk and reward.

The pros of buy-to-let.

Rental Income

One of the main benefits of buy-to-let investment is rental income. Reliable tenants will hopefully more often than not provide regular cash flow.

Property Appreciation

Historically, property prices in the UK have tended to increase over time. If the property's value appreciates, you can benefit from capital growth when you sell.


If you already have investments in stocks or bonds then property can offer diversification within your portfolio,

Property is Tangible

Unlike some other investments, property is a tangible asset that you can see and touch which can provide a sense of security.

Potential Tax Benefits

There used to be many. Now not so much. Landlords used to be able to deduct mortgage expenses from rental income to reduce their tax bill but that all changed in April 2020. Now you receive a tax-credit based on 20% of your mortgage interest payments. See Regulatory Changes below.

Rental Demand

This is all about location. Demand for rental properties in some areas can be incredibly high, especially in typical student cities and those with strong employment opportunities.

The cons of buy-to-let.

Initial Outlay

Buying property requires a significant upfront investment, including a deposit (typically around 25% for buy-to-let mortgages), legal fees, stamp duty and potential refurbishment costs.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Landlords are responsible for maintaining the property and ensuring it meets safety standards. This can involve costs and time.

Void Periods

There may be times when your property is vacant and not generating rental income. You'll still have to cover mortgage payments and other costs during these periods.

Regulatory Changes

The regulatory environment for landlords in the UK has become more stringent in recent years, with changes to tax rules and regulations governing tenants' rights. The Renters (Reform) Bill currently passing through parliament has been designed to deliver a fair deal for tenants and responsible landlords.

The Bill will abolish Section 21 repossessions and fixed term tenancies, introduce a Decent Homes Standard for the sector, a new Ombudsman and Property Portal which landlords will have to join as well as measures to protect families and those in receipt of benefits from discrimination.

Market Risk

Property prices can fluctuate due to market conditions, economic factors, and changes in interest rates. A downturn in the property market can affect the value of your investment.


While it may be tangible, property is not a liquid asset. Selling a property can take time and you may not be able to access your investment capital quickly if needed.

Tenant Issues

Dealing with difficult tenants, rental arrears, or property damage can be stressful and costly.

Consider with your investment strategy is.

Before deciding whether to invest in buy-to-let property you need to consider your financial situation, investment goals, risk tolerance and of course current market conditions.

You need to make sure that you work out the financial projections, potential rental yields and local market dynamics for each property before you can make an informed decision.

And as ever, seek advice from property experts, financial advisers and tax professionals who will all be able to offer you the help you need to decide whether buy-to-let investment aligns with your overall investment strategy.

Most Buy to Let Mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Your initial mortgage appointment is without obligation. We normally charge a fee for our services; however, it is payable only on the submission of your mortgage application. The fee will depend on your circumstances but our standard fee is £549. Complex cases usually attract a higher fee. We will discuss and agree the fee with you prior to submitting any mortgage application.

Please be aware that the information provided within these archives has been pre-published, as of the date published on each article. The information contained within, including references to taxation, legislation, regulation, or any other issues or concerns may no longer apply.

Robyn Hall

UK Property and Finance Expert

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