How to deal with nui­sance neigh­bours

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page - Becky Fatemi runs Rok­stone Prop­er­ties, a lux­ury es­tate agency in Maryle­bone, Lon­don (rok­stone.com) BECKY FATEMI ES­TATE AGENT

QI’m a buy-to-let pri­vate land­lady with a port­fo­lio of two houses. I’m tired of be­ing tainted as the greedy, un­scrupu­lous, un­car­ing, soon-to-be over­taxed land­lord and am se­ri­ously think­ing of sell­ing up (at least one house).

How­ever, I want to rein­vest so I don’t lose my po­ten­tial in­come for when I re­tire, so am con­sid­er­ing a lux­ury holiday lodge in Devon.

I’ve read that the UK holiday sec­tor is on the up, but what are the pros and cons of trad­ing bricks and mor­tar for one of these lodges? JH, BERK­SHIRE

AI have al­ways be­lieved that prop­erty is the safest form of in­vest­ment to make. Rent­ing holiday homes or lodges has be­come more pop­u­lar in re­cent years, and Devon is cer­tainly a de­sir­able holiday lo­ca­tion for both UK and in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers. You could be pretty sure of reg­u­lar short lets and in­come through­out the sum­mer.

You would, how­ever, need to con­sider the win­ter months, when you are likely to strug­gle to achieve a high rental fig­ure. You could also face va­cant pe­ri­ods when peo­ple are opt­ing to stay in coun­try cot­tages or even look­ing fur­ther afield to warmer cli­mates.

You should also con­sider the fact that un­like buy-to-let prop­er­ties, holiday homes re­quire con­stant up­keep such as clean­ing and ba­sic ameni­ties, which can swal­low up sub­stan­tial amounts of your time and in­come.

In­stead of a holiday lodge, you could con­sider in­vest­ing in a free­hold prop­erty lo­cated in a city cen­tre. This way, you won’t be ex­pected to pay a ser­vice charge, and you would also be close to trans­port links, ameni­ties and uni­ver­si­ties, which will at­tract tourists and vis­i­tors and stu­dents through­out the year, en­sur­ing a steady in­come.

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