A guide if you want to rent your house

Rutherglen Reformer - - Property - Lor­raine Howard

More home­own­ers are rent­ing out their prop­er­ties, whether to al­low them to move with­out sell­ing or to try and make ends meet, find out what you need to know about let­ting your home.

Be­fore de­cid­ing to rent out your home you will need to make sure the plan works fi­nan­cially.

Firstly, you need to know how much you can rent your home for and how this com­pares to your other costs and mort­gage pay­ments.

Get to know the lo­cal market and see what sim­i­lar prop­er­ties are ask­ing in rental. Hav­ing done this, in­vite three rental agents round to as­sess your prop­erty and give you an es­ti­mate of the rent you could re­ceive. This will give you a broad base to work out the rent you can ex­pect from and car­ries no obli­ga­tion to go with that agent.

Once you have an es­ti­mated monthly rent, com­pare this to your mort­gage costs and other costs. Take into ac­count any rental com­mis­sion taken by an agent, your monthly mort­gage pay­ments and also the cost of main­tain­ing the prop­erty, as you will be re­spon­si­ble for re­pairs and main­te­nance etc. Bear in mind that by rent­ing out your home and mov­ing to an­other you will be main­tain­ing two houses, although your new ten­ants will pay util­ity and coun­cil tax bills.

A let­tings agent will find you a ten­ant, do all the pa­per­work and man­age the rental for you. They will charge for this, typ­i­cally up to 15 per cent of monthly rent and may also ask for a ten­ant find­ing fee. Check charges care­fully. They can be high, es­pe­cially in Lon­don, and make sure there are no hid­den ex­tras such as land­lord charges for con­tracts, in­ven­to­ries, clean­ing. Com­pare agents and choose a good one rather than just a cheap one, this will save you a lot off has­sle in the long run. Also be­ware those of­fer­ing ex­ces­sively high rental es­ti­mates, they may take longer to rent your prop­erty and in the mean­time you’ll still be pay­ing the mort­gage. If you de­cide not to use an agent, be aware that you will need to be able to sort out any prob­lems, do all the leg and pa­per­work and get re­pairs done swiftly. When choos­ing an agent ex­pe­ri­ence and rep­u­ta­tion is vi­tal. It doesn’t have to be a big firm - small in­de­pen­dent let­ting agents with years of ex­pe­ri­ence will of­ten go the ex­tra mile for you. Let­tings agents are not reg­u­lated but there are trade or­gan­i­sa­tions, such as the As­so­ci­a­tion of Res­i­den­tial Let­tings Agents. Of­ten you will be told to al­ways choose one of these or­gan­i­sa­tions’ mem­bers, how­ever, some long-stand­ing small agents choose not to be mem­bers and should also be con­sid­ered. If you have any con­cerns as to why they are not mem­bers, ask them to ex­plain why. Many peo­ple rent out their prop­erty and do not tell their lender. They should not do this. Tech­ni­cally your lender must be told if you want to let out your prop­erty and the best way to do this is to re­quest per­mis­sion to let. Ex­plain why you need to do so, and if you run into dif­fi­cul­ties ex­plain that it is be­cause you need to move but can­not cur­rently af­ford to sell, or have fi­nan­cial con­straints that would not let you do so or con­tinue to live in the prop­erty. Ex­plain it is a tem­po­rary ar­range­ment. The lender should be rea­son­able on this and not force you onto a buy-to-let deal on a higher rate and al­low you to let out the prop­erty for at least a year or two. They may ask for a fee for per­mis­sion. If your lender RENTAL PLAN

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