Over the next year or so, you will need to move your property finance tracking online. To help we take a look at 5 top landlord apps.
How ever you currently manage your property portfolio, by 6th April 2023 (this deadline was recently changed to April 2024), if you earn more than £10,000 in rent in a year, you will need to change the way you manage your property financials. Over the next year or so, you will need to scrap your spreadsheets and move your property finance tracking online so the tax you owe and need to pay can be managed digitally.
So, whether you love or loathe technology, you’ll need to start to utilise more online tools to survive as a landlord. Here are five landlord apps and websites to begin to better manage your portfolio online.
Any property investor should keep up to date with the value of their investments. The main reason this is useful when it comes to buy-to-let is if your properties are mortgaged. Ideally, you want to be on the best mortgage rate, which means constantly looking to see if prices have moved upwards to allow a revaluation that will improve your Loan to Value. If you can do this, you could save a fortune each year on your mortgage payments.
The best app I’ve found to help with this is Rightmove’s app. The two most useful tools are first, checking sold property price data for similar properties to yours, and second, checking what price they are being marketed for. Watching similar properties every three to six months can help you spot when prices have increased, allowing you to decide whether to re-mortgage and save some money or to release equity to expand your portfolio.
Although not an app, the Habito website is so forward-looking that it’s incredibly easy to use on a mobile phone or tablet as well as a desktop. Answering a few quick questions for Habito about letting out a property, whether you are buying personally or via a company, will help you find out the latest mortgage deals in minutes so you can compare them to your existing deals or ones you have been offered so far.
Additionally, they have several strategic industry partnerships to help landlords get the best deals available as easily as possible. For example, you can get a fast quote from Habito from inside the Landlord Studio app at any time to learn how much you could be saving.
Knowing if there is a better deal available that could save you money on your mortgage or allow you to overpay will enable you to improve your net income in the long term.
Over the next few years, you will have no choice but to stop using spreadsheets and start recording all your property finances online. This is a great tool to get you started, whether you are tech-savvy or not.
It’s extremely easy to use, mainly because it’s been created by a landlord who had a busy day job and needed something quick to keep his finances up to date (for more visit Landlord Studio).
The app allows you to automate rent invoices, capture easily lost receipts and track all your expenses. If someone is late with their rent, it can also automatically generate late fees. And it’s not just for invoices and receipts, there is the extra advantage of being able to store your documentation, such as health and safety certificates and your tenancy agreement, and set reminders for when things need to be renewed.
For those that are keen to move away from traditional banking, the app can also integrate with Open Banking which allows you to easily reconcile your rental transactions – and it’s this kind of innovation that will allow you to move to ‘making tax digital’ simply and smoothly.
UPDATE: You can now automate your mileage tracking with Landlord Studios GPS mileage tracker.
MileIQ will help you track your mileage expenses, especially if you self-manage it’s easy to forget to keep track of this and this is a great app to help you, especially if you only have a few properties and are a part-time landlord.
This app is a great standalone solution and allows you to automatically record the miles you drive to and from your properties, and better still, you can assign each trip to your portfolio so it doesn’t get mixed in with your personal or other business mileage. Even if you don’t really like IT or apps, you can try this for free, and once it’s up and running it’s a quick swipe to get it working for you.
If you’re looking for a more complete expense tracking solution some property management apps such as Landlord Studio also offer mile tracking tools so that you can track and manage every aspect of your property from one simple and easy to use solution.
Not so long ago, the chances of being fined for poor health and safety conditions in your rental property were rare. Now it happens on a regular basis, with fines ranging from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands, and some landlords have even landed themselves in jail. This is because local authorities are clamping down on rogue landlords and in London, all councils participate in the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker, so tenants can find out if a landlord or agent they are looking to rent from has been prosecuted or fined in the past.
To avoid fines and being ‘outed’ as a bad landlord, regular property inspections are an essential part of property management. And rather than appearing to be a ‘check-up’ on the tenant, if done well, they can help build relationships by asking the tenant if they have had any problems or if anything needs fixing. A good rapport usually means they will alert you to problems or issues much earlier, giving you more time to sort things out.
A great app to help with this is Zinspector. Not only does it allow you to take essential photos and videos, but critically, they are securely time and date-stamped, geo-located, and property, area, and detail tagged for easy reference – even if you don’t have access to wi-fi for any reason. The reason this is so important is if a tenant raises a maintenance issue with a landlord, you have to respond within 14 days (in England) and if you pop round, take a picture of the problem and get it fixed, you have independent evidence for anyone that asks that you dealt with the problem within the correct time frame.
You can even add contacts, be they tenants or local tradespeople, to help make sure everyone knows when there is a problem and how to get it fixed quickly. Once an inspection is done, it can then be automatically sent to anyone you need, for example, the tenants, again evidencing that you are doing everything you can to run your property portfolio legally.
Remember, being proactive rather than reactive can save you a fortune in the long run – and even improve your property’s value if kept in tip-top condition.
So, whether you are into tech or not, hopefully, these five apps/websites will help you start and run your portfolio more efficiently, not miss a trick when it comes to better mortgage management, make sure you don’t miss claiming a penny for your mileage as well as making sure your property remains compliant from a health and safety perspective in what is a very difficult market to keep up with.
Landlord Studio provides you with regulated account information services as an agent of Plaid Financial Ltd., an authorised payment institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (Firm Registration Number: 804718) for the provision of payment services, including account information services.