We are going to let our house out and I have had an offer from an interested party that I have found privately. Can anyone give me some advice on how to go about this without the help of a letting agent? What do I need to consider? What insurances will I need?
If you have any advice at all, I would be very grateful.
Take out credit and previous references. You'd need a contract (usually an Assured Shorthold Tenancy) , a deposit to be held in a registered scheme, Gas Safety Certificate for boiler and any appliances - an annual service contract is often useful as it will include it, check there are no non fire-rated soft furnishings involved, decide what you are leaving and arrange an inventory. You need buildings insurance, contents insurance for whatever you leave (ie white goods, carpets), notify your mortgage company and get their agreement to rent . There is landlord insurance which covers such as non-payment, non accidental damage etc but check exclusions (accidental damage is often one). Will you remain local to organise repairs and do the checks ?
Wow - that's a lot to think about. Thanks for that! Yes, we will only be about 5 mins drive away. I've got a letting agent coming round tomorrow to discuss as an option - if they fully manage a property, do they take care of any of those items?
Their fee will cover the arrangement but not cost of many of these although may include drafting contract, securing deposit, processing rent payments and credit checks as a minimum. Inventory for example is often an option with one-off fee. Management fees can be 10-15%. Check they are ARLA and/or NAEA registered. There is a forum (landlord zone ?) which may have advice , also your local council website may have a private lettings area which lists the legal responsibilities.
Please do make sure you protect the tenants deposit, this is a very common mistake for buy to let landlords, if you don't you can't evict them by using a section 21 notice and if you retain the deposit you can be fined by the court if the tenant takes action to recover.
Google Registered Landlords Association. About £70 a year to be a member - they'll tell you how to do everything - all the forms, checks, deposits etc and there's a helpline with a real person who will advise if you have problems or just have questions to ask.