When you first hear the term ‘accidental landlord’ your first reaction may be, how on earth can anyone become a landlord by accident? It’s a fair question, and there are a lot of answers! People find themselves as accidental landlords for a number of reasons, including:
- Inheriting a property
- Not being able to sell after a move
- The need to relocate
- Moving in with a new partner
As you can see, these reasons cover quite a broad range. In fact, current estimates state that around 25 to 30% of all landlords in the UK are actually ‘accidental’, and some of them are woefully unprepared for the challenges that lie ahead. That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of things all accidental landlords need to consider. Let’s take a look at our first point.
Contact your mortgage provider
If there is still an outstanding mortgage on the property, it’s essential to get in touch with the provider to let them know that your circumstances have changed and that you intend to rent the property. What happens next will depend upon what type of mortgage you have, but be prepared to either alter the current agreement or switch the mortgage altogether.
Get in touch with your insurer
Another vital phone call to make is one to your insurer. Failing to notify them of the change in circumstance will almost always invalidate your policy, leaving you uninsured should the worst happen. Tell your insurer that you are going to be renting the property out and ask them to advise you on the next step.
Taking out public liability insurance is also prudent at this stage as it will give you protection against any claims made over incidents that may occur in or around your soon-to-be-rented property.
Prepare a proper tenancy agreement
A tenancy agreement is your contract between you and your tenant, so it’s vitally important to get right. It must be clearly written, legally binding, and cover all of the terms and conditions surrounding the tenancy. Failing to prepare an adequate tenancy agreement leaves you open to problems further down the line.
Get on the right side of the law
As one might expect, there are some legal hoops you need to jump through in order to become a landlord. These are mainly safety obligations, but there are financial regulations, too. To see the latest governmental advice for renting out property in England and Wales, click here.
Conduct a full inventory
Carrying out a full inventory is another essential chore you’ll need to take care of before you hand the keys over to your new tenant. Inventories are important because they are the only way to prove whether the state of your property or its fixtures and fittings have changed since the tenancy began. Without a proper inventory, you alone will be responsible for any damage caused by your tenants during their time in your property.
Daunted? There’s no need to be
While all of the above may seem more hassle than it’s worth, there is a simple solution that will make your life a whole lot easier. Employing the services of a reputable letting agent can dramatically cut down the amount of work you need to do, and ensure that you remain on the right side of the law at all times.
Here at Petty Son and Prestwich, our lettings team will take care of all the hard work for you, leaving you free to concentrate on the more important things in life. With years of lettings experience under our belts and full accreditation from professional bodies such as ARLA (the Association of Residential Letting Agents), SAFEAgent, The Property Ombudsman and the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents, you can rest assured that your property will be in safe hands.