Tue 26 Jan 2021
Swindon is one of the commercial powerhouses of the south of England, built on a rich industrial history. The economic importance of the town means that it has a thriving property rental market, making it a lucrative location for residential landlords to invest in. In this article we’ll explore what makes Swindon an attractive place to rent, examine the data on rental yields in different parts of Swindon, and detail the practical steps you should take to become a residential landlord in Swindon.
Why Invest in Swindon?
The Great Western Railway reached Swindon in 1840, which accelerated the town’s growth from a small market town into the largest urban area in Wiltshire. The famous GWR locomotive works became the focal point for the growth of the ‘New Town’ of Swindon, and developed into the largest industrial complex in Europe by the end of the 19th century. The following few decades of the 20th century brought the humanitarian and cultural infrastructure of a thriving town to Swindon, with the establishment of schools, hospitals, tram networks, cinemas and football teams. Nowadays, Swindon is the 15th fastest growing economy of the country in 2020, meaning there is a growing market of economically active people looking to rent houses and flats.
Swindon is home to the headquarters of many large businesses such as Nationwide Building Society, WH Smith, Zurich Financial Services and the National Trust. It’s also an important distribution hub for nationwide businesses such as B&Q and Aldi, and also has a newly built Amazon warehouse. This is in part thanks to Swindon’s strong transport links. The town is on the M4 motorway and the newly electrified railway line from London, which can be reached from Swindon in 52 minutes. Other cities such as Bath, Bristol and Cardiff are all served by direct train services from Swindon. Overall, Swindon enjoys a relatively high standard of living when taking into account employment opportunities and earnings, housing affordability, health and wellbeing, education, traffic and crime rates.
Rental Yields in Swindon
According to Home.co.uk, the average monthly rent in Swindon is currently £677. This differs by property type, with a one-bed property being £595 PCM, £781 PCM asked for a two-bed property, and £967 PCM for a three-bed property.
Rental yields in Swindon are currently up to 4.9%, and rising in line with national trends. Yields vary by local area - the highest yields can be had in the northern part of the town, in the postcodes SN25 (the northern edge of the town bordering the A419) and SN2 (north of the railway line). Other lucrative areas with yields of 4.8% are the southern part of the town (SN1, south of the railway line) and SN4 postcodes, which cover the nearby villages of Wroughton, Chiseldon and Wootton Bassett. Swindon’s other postcodes, SN3 (east Swindon) and SN5 (west Swindon) earn yields of 4.5% and 3.8% respectively.
When deciding on your investment strategy, take into account the differences in rental demand in the different areas of Swindon and make a choice that suits your goals: whether you are investing for the short, medium or long term. While some areas have higher yields, other areas may have historically performed better in capital growth. You may also be willing to take on a project which needs refurbishment to add value, or you may want a property with tenants in situ. There are many approaches to consider so if you’re unsure of what your strategy should be and would like some advice, we can help.
How to Become a Residential Landlord in Swindon in 6 Steps
- Assess the costs of getting started - These numbers matter and they have to stack up. Bear in mind you’ll need a larger deposit on a buy to let mortgage than a residential one, and lenders will also want to see that you can cover the costs for any rental voids. You’ll also need to account for the cost of surveys, legal fees and landlord insurance.
- Choose to let the property independently or use a letting agency - Assess the pros and cons of each, namely concerning costs, time and hassle. Hiring a letting agency may come with a cost, but this will greatly reduce the time requirements and pressure on yourself. We are a professionally registered letting agency and ensure that our landlords comply with the latest industry regulation and guidance, to keep your tenants safe and your property compliant.
- Decide whether to let the property furnished or unfurnished - This will depend on the rental strategy you choose and who your target tenants are. Those renting HMOs will expect basic furnishings, whereas holiday lets or serviced apartments will need to be kitted out to a higher standard. If you’re renting out family homes, these would usually be let unfurnished.
- Arrange insurance - Taking out landlords’ insurance and home care cover can save a lot of hassle should any damage occur to your property, accidental or otherwise. You’ll also be insured against the cost of any emergency works such as broken boilers. Whether you’re DIY or using a letting agent – we have many landlords who authorize us on their home care policy to act on their behalf – having this cover can provide peace of mind that around-the-clock help is covered if needed.
- Complete property checks - To adhere to landlords’ legal obligations and responsibilities, you will need to ensure the property is safe and the correct paperwork is in place - i.e. the Electrical Inspection certificates and Gas Safety checks. Government’s regularly update the legislation and regulation surrounding rental properties so it’s important that you keep up to date or choose a professional lettings agent to keep on top of this for you.
- Finally, complete the Right to Rent checks – It’s common practice to do your reference checks and property inventory when getting ready to let your property. However, by law you also need to ensure the tenant has the legal right to rent in the UK. If they do not, this can result in you receiving a fine.
If you’re an aspiring landlord in Swindon, we hope you’ve found this information helpful. If you have any questions or are looking for advice on making you’re first investment, Mike Dewhurst and his experienced team are here to help. We operate one of the largest property management companies in Swindon with over 800 properties in our portfolio. Over the last 25 years, we have helped many investors become a landlord for the first time and subsequently grow their portfolios. With our Sales Department on hand, we can also match investors with current landlords who are looking to sell for a smooth buy to let process. To invest in a buy-to-let residential property in Swindon with confidence, get in touch with Mike on 01793 709090 today.
DEWHURST & CO. 1996 - 2021. 25 YEARS AS PROPERTY EXPERTS IN SWINDON | SALES: 01793 701111 / LETTTINGS: 01793 709090