BUYING to let has never been so popular, with high tenant demand and rising rents providing investors with an opportunity to enjoy a regular and reliable extra income.

“Rental demand for all types of properties is already at an all-time high and experts predict that up to a quarter of all households in the UK will be renting by 2025," Allison Thompson, managing director at Leaders, said.

“As such, it is no surprise that investors remain extremely keen on property. But that is not to say every home presents a lucrative investment opportunity, so prospective landlords must do their homework to ensure a property will deliver the return they are looking for.”

Allison has identified five factors every landlord should consider before buying to let.

1) Local employment opportunities

Many quality tenants will be attracted to homes either close to, or within easy access of, to their places of work. Consider areas where big businesses or many local employers are and look to buy there. 

2) Excellent transport links

Proximity to a rail station or the motorway network will make a home more appealing to people who need to travel for work, family or social commitments. Avoid those remote areas that are notoriously difficult to reach and instead focus on investing in a well-connected part of town. 

3) Quality of housing 

With tenants staying in one place for longer, they typically look for quality properties they can be a home to be proud of. Therefore properties which are maintained to a high standard will achieve higher rents and benefit from longer tenancies and fewer voids. So, either look to buy a high-quality property or refurbish one to a high standard.

4) Attractive local amenities 
Areas with plenty to offer will naturally appeal to tenants. Look for homes that are close to shops, pubs, restaurants, schools and entertainment facilities, all of which can draw people to an area. Not only could this increase demand for your property, it is also likely to push sales prices up over time.

5) Meeting local demand 
Working out who you are aiming to let to and buying a property to suit is a must. If you want to take advantage of a large local student population, investing in a house with four or five bedrooms is a shrewd move. Similarly, if a town is popular with young professionals, buying a stylish apartment is wise.