Help at hand for accidental landlords
RECENTLY, an increasing number of home owners have become ‘accidental landlords’ – ones who are obliged to let their property due to a change in circumstances rather than as a planned decision.
They may have inherited a property, are getting divorced or have had to relocate for work. But whatever the reason, their best option is to let the property rather than sell it or stay there.
It may turn out to be a highly positive move rather than an unhappy accident but by their very nature accidental landlords lack experience of letting property. So, with that in mind, here are some top tips from The Frost Partnership.
First, discuss the matter with your insurers. Failure to notify your insurer that your home is now a rental property could invalidate your insurance policy – potentially a very costly mistake. It is also probably worth taking out public liability insurance to protect you against any issues that arise as a result of letting your property.
You should also talk to your mortgage provider as, depending on the type of mortgage you have, you may be required to change contracts to comply their requirements.
Landlords have many legal obligations such as Right to Rent checks and financial duties including lodging deposits in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme. A legally binding tenancy agreement and a proper inventory are essential.
Utilities such as gas, water and electricity should be with transferred into the tenant’s name and financial liability for these should be stated in your tenancy agreement. Calculate your financial liabilities and be sure to keep tax returns up to date. There are tax deductions you can claim; mortgage interest charges, repairs and maintenance, energy efficiency improvements to name but a few. Whatever else, make sure you’re protected if it all goes wrong and you need to end the tenancy.
If it sounds too complex, however, you could just put your feet up, relax and ask an experienced ARLA letting agent to handle it all for you. At The Frost Partnership we can take care of everything from finding suitable tenants to rent demand and property maintenance.
Chris Cotton, manager lettings for Middlesex explained: “Frosts is an independent family owned network with a commitment to quality service for our clients. Our philosophy is “Looking after people and property” and we do just that, taking the stress out of the entire lettings process”.
For details of our lettings service please call the Staines-upon- Thames branch on 01784 464606 or Feltham on 020 8890 4225.