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Accidental landlord

An accidental landlord: Everything you need to know

Not every landlord is one by choice. A professional landlord is someone who makes a living from renting out houses. An accidental landlord is someone who rents a property as a result of circumstance rather than choice.

This is usually a result of the homeowner not being able to sell a property. Instead of leaving it empty, it therefore makes sense to rent it out. However, circumstances such as death, divorce or separation may also cause someone to become an accidental landlord. In addition to this, you may have met your partner later on in life and have decided to move in with them.

Before you know it, you are a landlord without ever having the intention of being one. However, this doesn’t come without problems. If you’re an accidental landlord, you may reside away from the property, have no prior experience of the rental sector and struggle with the commitment required.

What do I need to know?

Whether you planned to become a landlord or not, your property is now a business and you need to make a profit. If you find yourself in this situation and have never let a property before, it can be a daunting and stressful prospect. After all, there are a number of factors that need to be considered.

Marketing your property – You need to show off your property’s most impressive features such as location, rooms, size, and garden. Decide whether you are going to let your property as furnished or unfurnished and make sure that all reparations are complete. We recommend hiring a professional photographer in order to capture your property in the best light. Many people overlook the marketing of their property but it could be the difference between hundreds of pounds.

Rental price – There’s a fine line between setting the price at a level that will ensure a profit and setting a price that is low enough to attract the right tenants. Take a look at what other properties in the local area are up for and get in touch with a local letting agent for expert advice.

Your mortgage – Before renting out the property it’s crucial to ensure that your current mortgage allows you to sub-let your home. Meet with your mortgage advisor to discuss your options. If you’re simply struggling to sell your home but believe the market may pick-up in the following months to come, your mortgage provider could provide a ‘consent to let’, allowing you to rent the property for one year without changing your mortgage. If your lender does not allow sub-lets then you should consider switching to a buy-to-let mortgage.

Insurance – As you are now a landlord, the residential insurance of the property must change. Contact your provider and discuss changing to landlord insurance.

Rules and regulations – To ensure that both parties (you and the tenant) are protected, you need to follow a number of rules and regulations. The Right to Rent Act and Tenancy Deposit Scheme should be adhered to. Your property also needs to be in compliance with energy efficiency regulations as well as gas safety requirements. Depending on where your property is, you may also have to purchase a Landlord License so check with your local council.

Income tax – Once your tenant has moved in and you’re receiving monthly payments, you are now liable to pay tax on this income. In April 2017, the law changed regarding this, and now landlords have to pay tax on the total amount of rental income.

How do I find the right letting agent for me?

As an accidental landlord, you may want to consider an agent who offers multiple services such as finding the tenant, running background checks, property management, property checks and property maintenance, Cassini Properties Estate and Letting would be delighted to assist you thought out the whole process.

If you have any questions or would like some more information, get in touch with Cassini Properties Estate and Lettings today.

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