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Renting out a house/flat?

(4 Posts)
Earlybird Tue 03-May-05 12:01:10

For various reasons, I am considering renting out my flat for a year or so. It's in a fantastic central London location close to transport links, and has parking, so I shouldn't have any trouble finding a tenant.

I could definitely use the income, but am fearful of renting to a nightmare tenant. Have any of you ever rented out your primary home? Did you use an agent? How did you find the tenant? Does such a thing as a "company let" still exist? What sort of deposit did you require? How did you receive the rent? Better to rent furnished or unfurnished? What is considered normal wear and tear? The list is endless....also wondering if it would be better/economically viable to consider putting the flat with an agency specialising in renting flats to tourists.

Tips, suggestions, potential pitfalls - any advice welcome. Thank you!

sweetheart Tue 03-May-05 12:29:49

I don't know about being the owner but I used to rent a house and this is what we were required to give:-

Rented through an agent. We had to pay the rent to the agent each month. 2 months rent was taken as a deposit and due to damages on the property this was not refunded at the end of the leese. The house was furnished although we brought in our own bed (couldn't bear to think of sleeping in another persons bed - yuk) but mostly the furniture wasn't really looked after. I would suggest if you don't mind it being ruined then thats fine. Also take an inventory if you do provide furniture.

I was only 18 when I rented the house with my bf and another couple and knowing how we treated the house I would say only rent to more mature/professional adults!!!!

I know this is from the other side of the coin but I hope it helps!!

Twiglett Tue 03-May-05 12:42:09

use an agent - will cost 10- 15% of rent

unless you know someone you could trust

don't forget you will be taxed on profit you make

LIZS Tue 03-May-05 13:00:58

We have rented out our house in the past. You can get insurance to cover non-payment of rent, intentional damage etc but not accidental damage. You also need to maintain buildings and contents insurance to cover anything you leave in flat (appliances, carpets and curtains, any furniture, fixtures and fittings). We did ours part furnished but leaving nothing of any personal value. It depends on your target market-some lets are better with a certain "look" to them to attract a more professional market and in London that may be more of a factor. Also if it is only for a short term such as under a Shorthold Assured Tenancy, which is a 6 month min term, potential tenants may not want to go to the hassle of furnishing it themselves. Do bear in mind that there are various legal regulations relating to fire retardancy of soft furnishings, electrical standards and that you need an annual Gas Safety Certificate.

We used an agent who vetted tenants (we had a mixture of sharers and company lets), drew up Tenancy Agreements and did inspections for problems and any wear and tear and to organise repairs, as well as rent collection and payment of bills. This was a management service, or you could use them just to find tenants and collect and forward the rent. They also should provide you with details of their services (you could have them arrange professional cleaning , repairs and a full inventory, for example) and the latest regulations and laws which would apply. There are also tax issues relating to the income but you can offset some of the related expenses against it.

Biggest issues for use have been unreliability of our agents (despite being NAEA registered), periods of unoccupancy mainly due to downturn of economy and a dirth of suitable tenants and the need to detach oneself from the property which is hard if you are planning to live in it again. You could speak to a few agents and get an idea of the sort of income, tenant and upkeep you may be looking at to see if it is viable.

Hope this helps

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