So there seems to be a new -ish term in town at the moment. It is the accidental Landlord. You almost always know one when you meet them on the web or in person. There is a line of strain over their brow as they come to terms with their new role in life. The role of Landlord. Suddenly thrust into the world of property in a world where sellers vastly outnumber buyers, this landlord is suddenly responsible for the upkeep of a house he no longer lives in.
It does not have to be a stressful task as I know. It just requires that you find out a bit more about your new role. It may actually increase your bank balance if the situation is dealt with properly. My suggestion, and it is only that, would be that you employ the services of a good letting agent that may help you sort out some of the nitty gritties such as finding a tenant and not just any tenant but a really great tenant. You really do not want to take the first person that turns up just because you are afraid no one else will. In this day and age, there are a lot of tenants and not so many good properties for them to rent. So you can afford to be picky or allow the agent to deal with this for you. You will be quite attached to the house as it was your home not too long ago and you may not be objective when it comes to choosing the perfect tenant for you.
Another thing a letting agent can do for you is make sure all the legals are in place. You do not want to buy any old contract off the internet only to end up with a non-paying tenant that you cannot evict because the paperwork did not cover your particular situation.
And then comes the deposit. You need to ensure that this is put into a Tenancy Deposit protection scheme. Forget to do it for whatever reason and you could find yourself in court being asked to pay THREE times the amount of the deposit. So be very wary.
Then there is the day to day management of the property, regular visits, repairs, insurance etc. All these things can be dealt with quite easily by you or your trusty letting agent.
As long as all of these things are considered, being an accidental landlord could be fairly straightforward. As long as periods in between tenants are kept to a minimum, you could even make money from what was once your home. Just make sure you get the sums right.
Before I end this quick post, I must mention the most important thing to consider even before all of the above becomes relevant. If there is a mortgage on your house, make sure that you obtain permission from your bank to let out the property. As much as we are told the property is ours, we have to ask permission for anything that may affect its value. And this is a very important one. Without what is called ‘consent to let’, you could find yourself repossessed! This could then lead to the tenant suing you for no longer having anywhere to live. A scenario you really want to avoid at all costs.
In summary, it is not the end of the world if you do have to become of these accidental landlords, just make sure you do your due diligence or pay someone else to take care of it all for you.
I must add a slight disclaimer here. Make sure that you do not accept this article as a definitive guide to letting, make sure you do your own research as well as speak to the relevant professionals to keep yourself completely covered in all ways.
Any questions? I will get back to you as soon as I can.