Aibu to think mn may not be giving me an accurate overview of renting and being a landlord?

(43 Posts)
FlyingElbows Fri 20-May-16 11:35:34

The chance of a lifetime has just fallen into my lap. To take it I will have to rent out my house to become the tenant of another. I have never done either before. There are lots of mn threads on this topic and, from what I have assessed, renting my house out will make me single handedly responsible for the housing crisis in London (despite being in Scotland) and I will become an oppressed victim of an evil right wing money machine (you're probably right on the right wing bit in this case).

I am really torn on what to do and more than slightly shitting at about taking the leap. Can anyone talk sensibly and rationally about this or do I just have to shut my eyes and jump in?

NedStarksHead Fri 20-May-16 11:37:21

If you know how most some people feel about this situation, what exactly are you asking?

Flossyfloof Fri 20-May-16 11:37:53

First ask yourself what other aspects of your life are run according to general opinion here.

Osolea Fri 20-May-16 11:39:08

You'll be ok on here, it's mostly btl landlords that are hated. You will get away with it if you only own one property and are being a tenant elsewhere.

Sounds like a fab opportunity, you should go for it!

GretchenBeckett Fri 20-May-16 11:40:44

at least you acknowledge what you are. That's the first step.

BertPuttocks Fri 20-May-16 11:44:33

Would you really give up the chance of a lifetime just because someone on MN might not approve? confused

Most landlords are normal, decent people: most tenants are normal, decent people. Neither are particularly interesting to post about so what you get on MN is the more polarised ends of the spectrum.

Do what works best for you.

CotswoldStrife Fri 20-May-16 11:54:17

We did this, also due to a job move (and the house not selling in time). It can be a hassle, tbh. We were some distance away so had a letting agent to deal with the day to day stuff (they also had a list of contractors so we could get stuff fixed that went wrong).

Look into the tax implications and the cost of agency fees. If you have a mortgage, you'll need their permission to let out the property and they may well charge a higher interest rate.

Will need at least buildings insurance and be able to pay for repairs as and when necessary (if you have an agent, they may pay small repair bills out of the monthly rent).

Think about who your house will appeal to - do you want a family with children, pets, smokers? You will need to check with your mortgage company and insurance if you take on a tenant receiving Housing Benefit. If you use an agency they will lodge the deposit (if you want one, and I would advise this) with an approved holder or you can do this yourself.

I have never come across Landlord hatred except on MN. I do not think Landlords are pushing property prices up or preventing people from buying property. More people own their home than rent, although more people are renting privately than before.

Congrats on the opportunity as well grin

Medusacascade Fri 20-May-16 12:36:24

My landlord has just had to pay me for the housing laws he broke when I rented from him. Just don't jump in without knowing exactly what your responsibility as a landlord is. Not knowing the laws you have to follow is what causes the most problems. Also realising that potentially evicting tenants when you return must be done properly so also make sure you know the laws about that before you even sign a contract. Other than that go for it.

jessplussomeonenew Fri 20-May-16 12:40:29

The National Landlord association website is handy to help you ensure you're doing everything right to protect yourself and your tenants.

jay55 Fri 20-May-16 12:45:42

Renting rules are entirely different in Scotland to England/Wales.

specialsubject Fri 20-May-16 12:48:35

yes, many on MN will hate you. I wouldn't worry.

What I WOULD worry about is the finances. Renting out one to finance being a tenant in another is unlikely to pay its way.

your rental is in Scotland so I can advise no further on the detail, but I imagine that the risks and insurances needed are the same.

landlordzone is a better bet, do mention that you are in Scotland. They don't like dodgy landlords either but you don't get playground jealousy on there.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Fri 20-May-16 12:48:45

I've rented since I was 18 and am now 51. Have rented 4 flats in the UK, 1 in Belgium, 1 in Spain and 5 here in Italy. No problems.

Landlords tend only to turn into MN-landlords when tenants do things like, y'know, not pay their rent. Which seems to be a completely acceptable course of events for a lot of MNers. Then when the landlord perfectly within his rights to do so, gives the section 21 (is it?) thingy. "How fucking dare he! Just because you've not paid your rent for 5 months, it's your hooooooome"

My cousin is a landlord and is expected to drive 25 miles to be shown a rain beetle in a matchbox by his tenants. (they are in the middle of the countryside, and it gets a bit damp outside)( I expect they are MNers. I suppose it's a pretty good rule of thumb for picking your tenants "do you use MN?" No? OK, you're in")

FlyingElbows Fri 20-May-16 13:01:14

Lol, I'll make "do you use mn the top priority on my list of preferences"! Thanks for the pointers to other sites to check out. I want to be as informed as possible before I make my decision. The other party in this is way more experienced and I don't want to be a lamb to the slaughter. We wouldn't really be letting one to finance the other as the other is a business but I certainly couldn't finance both in the initial stages.

AppleSetsSail Fri 20-May-16 13:03:44

In my experience 3D people form far more measured opinions than the MN dogmatics. Do what's best for you financially, just like everyone else is.

scaryteacher Fri 20-May-16 13:13:25

We rent out our house in the UK, whilst renting abroad as dh has a job overseas. It works for us as the mortgage is covered irrespective of rent, so voids for us are just a matter of moving some money back to UK and paying the CTax.

My place is let through an agent on a fully managed package. This lady came highly recommended, and in the decade I've rented my house out, she hasn't let me down once, and is organising running repairs to the place after the last tenants left as we speak. If you can find a really reliable agent, via word of mouth preferably, then use them.

We have kept the house on as dh was in HM forces, so we needed somewhere to return to from foreign postings, and when we return to UK after this civilian job is over, I will be returning to the house, and living there for 10 years at least before we look at downsizing or relocation when we are in our sixties.

venys Fri 20-May-16 13:25:27

We have done this in the past to rent a more family friendly abode. It can work but firstly check if you can change your mortgage to a let to buy. There have been very recent changes in the BTL market - stricter rules on getting a BTL mortgage, being taxed on your entire rental income as of this year (previously this was just profit) so this may push you into 40% tax bracket, plus you will be liable for capital gains tax if you don't return to the property and sell it after 2 years I think. If your opportunity still makes sense. I would get your property managed by a decent estate agent. Will save a lot of headache.

Handsoffmysweets Fri 20-May-16 13:29:52

I'm a landlord, which on MN makes me no better than a murderer. In the past few weeks I have been called scum, a thief and a parasite by some really pleasant users of MN. I just put it down to a mixture of jealousy, bitterness, pure hatred & a big ol' chip on the shoulder of some. Just do what's right for you and your family OP. As long as you play by the rules and give your tenants somewhere nice to live and charge a fair rent you're doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Handsoffmysweets Fri 20-May-16 13:31:43

Oh and if your tenants trash your house or default on their payments, don't come on here moaning about it because the general consensus will be that it's all your fault and you should be allowing them to live rent free for as long as they wish.

seeyounearertime Fri 20-May-16 13:33:17

I'm an ExLandlord and i will suggest that if you do rent your house out, get it through an agent and take out rental insurance if you need the money to pay the mortgage.

In the end i gave up tryin to make a go out of being a LL because i couldn't deal with the people renting my house.
One demanded i go and mow the lawns for them. another demanded i change a light bul on the landing. another tried to claim the house had rising damp in the upstairs bedrooms.

Once i'd washed my hands of it, i felt much better.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 20-May-16 13:44:21

I don't think people will hate you, and I don't think the comments here are fair really.

It's just that, by its nature, MN is a forum where people are more likely to be posting with problems. 'AIBU to think my LL is actually perfectly nice' isn't a very exciting thread.

FWIW, I've rented all my adult life, and have had far more decent LLs than bad ones.

Anyway: as a tenant, what I'd want you to know is that, if you rent your house out, it becomes someone else's home. You can't expect to come in during the tenancy, except in an emergency, although you can ask to come in for things like inspections, and most tenants will be happy to let you do that. Your tenants might also do things that wouldn't be your personal choice - eg., they might be more untidy than you, or they might decide to move furniture around - but so long as they're not damaging things, you usually have to let them be. The last thing is, you have to expect what's called 'wear and tear': carpets get worn and stained; surfaces get scratched. If you think the damage is OTT, you should be able to make a claim on their deposit (make sure you have time-stamped photos of before and after). But you cannot require tenants to help you keep the property in perfect order by replacing everything with new stuff - that's called betterment, and it's illegal.

LikeDylanInTheMovies Fri 20-May-16 13:56:39

In my experience of renting it is the amateur or accidental landlords who are the worst to deal with. Some seem to regard rent as pure profit and will fight tooth and nail to avoid spending money on the property. Big companies on the whole tend to realise there's an ongoing outlay involved.

A number (not all) of accidental landlords i've come across over the years seem to think that because they are not doing it professionally that they need not bother with things like deposit holding schemes, gas safety checks or spend money on maintaining their property or fixing things in a timely manner.

In one place when the boiler broke down one time the response was 'we didn't have heat for the whole of one winter when we were living there.' when we didn't want to wait the best part of a month to get it fixed. As an owner-occupier that's your choice, but if you are letting it out, the tenant is paying for a service and has certain basic rights. Another one couldn't get it into her head that it wasn't her home any more and letting yourself into the flat without knocking or making an appointment isn't on.

So in short, if you are busineslike in your approach, have enough capital for maintance and repairs and realise that it is actually your tenant's home and not yours for the duration of the period they live there, you will maximise the chances of it working out.

NewLife4Me Fri 20-May-16 14:03:33

Ha Ha grin

Yes, you are certainly the anti christ if you are a LL on here.

You have to do what you have to do, simple as that.
Those who object probably do things in their life that you could object to.

Some people always look to blame when a situation doesn't suit them, some people are jealous because they can't do it.

Do what suits you and your family with the cards you are dealt in life. It's sweet fuck all to do with anybody else.
Those who say you are responsible blah blah are probably just as responsible for another of the country's ills themselves.

LikeDylanInTheMovies Fri 20-May-16 14:10:22

newlife ridiculous hyperbole! On the whole, what people object to is cowboy landlords who don't fulfill their obligations and the lack of regulation in the private renting sector. There are bad landlords out there, just like there are good and bad tenants out there. So maybe try sparing usthe 'weare a persecuted minority ' schtick and offer the op some useful advice.

witsender Fri 20-May-16 14:14:56

I've been a landlord for nearly 7 years, renting my old flat out since I moved in with now-DH. Same tenants since day 1, never a missed payment. I speak to them by text or email regularly, have fixed anything that has gone wrong immediately and haven't raised the rent since they moved in. I think we are both quite happy with the arrangement.

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