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SOME ADVICE FOR “ACCIDENTAL LANDLORDS”

IF YOU DIDN’T PLAN ON BEING A LANDLORD YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING.

Although we’ve been quite fortunate and seen a few properties sell quite quickly recently, we know it’s not always the case. For one reason or another – no matter what an estate agent tells you – all of us will have had a property or two on our books which just seems to stick.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with them; it might be something as simple as too many similar homes on the market in the same area, for example. But, if it’s your home and, for whatever reason, you’re in a hurry to move, it can be hugely frustrating.

As a result, recent research has indicated there’s a growing number of “accidental landlords” in the UK. Some homeowners keen to move or no longer in a position to live in the property themselves for whatever reason are offering their houses to let instead.

It might seem like a simple solution – and one which offers the benefit of an additional income stream. But, for the uninitiated, letting property is actually a path strewn with pitfalls and one which we’d only recommend you consider once you’ve done some research.

If you’re considering it though, here are a few things we think you should know:

  • Did you realise any income you earn from renting your property is taxable and needs to be declared? Also, should you sell the property at a later date, it’s also subject to Capital Gains Tax.
  • Have you considered an inventory? There are companies who will help you to compile one but there is a cost involved. Without one, you will have no real proof of what you own inside the property so it’s not really a good plan to do without. If anything goes missing, you’ll have no real comeback.
  • An increasing number of legal obligations have been placed on landlords over recent months and more are in the pipeline. Safety has been a particular focus while landlords should also be placing any deposits they receive from their tenants in an approved deposit scheme. Make sure you understand everything you’re supposed to do by law.
  • Did you know, if you rent your property, any insurance policy you may have had before could now be null and void? Have a chat with your insurer and, if necessary, shop around for a new one. Meanwhile, renting can also have an impact on your mortgage agreement. It might be an idea to check on that too.
  • Finally, it’s probably a good idea to compile some form of tenancy agreement and the get anyone who rents your home to sign it. If you don’t want pets in your house or your tenant to make their own bit of extra income by offering a spare room on Airbnb, you probably need to have some sort of written agreement to say so.

Naturally, as estate agents, we’d certainly hope none of our vendors are forced to consider renting if it was never really part of their plan. But, if it is something you’re considering and you’d like a little more advice, feel free to give us a call or drop us a line. We’d be happy to help if we can.