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Anyone rented out their own home?

14 replies

BroccoliSpears · 02/09/2008 13:20

We're off abroad for a few years. Considering renting out our house while we're gone.

Obviously there are practical steps and maths to do before we make our decision, but also thought it would be helpful to hear from mners who have done it.

OP posts:
Pruners · 02/09/2008 13:25

Message withdrawn

BroccoliSpears · 02/09/2008 13:28

That's our plan.

Without wanting to know figures, was it financially worth doing would you say? I've been told by a couple of people that it rarely is.

OP posts:
Pruners · 02/09/2008 13:30

Message withdrawn

McDreamy · 02/09/2008 13:31

I have rented out 3 properties and am about to rent out our house in the UK. Everytime it has been successful go for it. The rental market is good at the moment.

We are abroad and did not rent our house out as we used it when we came back to the UK - expensive way of doing it but worth it for us. We are now about to rent out because we are returning to the UK and no longer require it IYSWIM

BroccoliSpears · 02/09/2008 13:40

Do you rent furnished or unfurnished McD?

OP posts:
McDreamy · 02/09/2008 13:41

My first was furnished, last 2 unfurnished and this one will be unfurnished.

kellykateneedsaholiday · 02/09/2008 14:28

Did you have to change/ inform your mortgage company? I am thinking of doing this in about a years time (will be moving in with parents to look after them but dont want to sell my house)
Also how long did it take roughly to find someone to rent property. Im trying to work out a rough timescale as I will need to change childrens schools /decorate etc.

McDreamy · 02/09/2008 14:30

We found tenants almost immediately and rarely had the properties empty. Our current house isn't on the market at the moment, we are just in the process of asking the mortgage company (they can refuse) and sorting out the legal bits and bobs.

McDreamy · 02/09/2008 14:32

So to answer your question - yes you do have to inform the mortgage company and they can refuse.

intolerant · 02/09/2008 14:41

Yeah and they charge you 200 quid for the trouble! Admin fee. Bah.

kellykateneedsaholiday · 02/09/2008 17:07


Gipfeli · 02/09/2008 17:21

We've done this. In our case our mortgage company was fine (and no charge). It's not profitable in terms of the rent - mostly we break even though - but since we've been gone for 6 years now it's been a good way to keep a foot in the UK property market. If we'd sold when we moved abroad we wouldn't be able to buy the same house now.

We've had four lots of tenants. 1st ones lasted for a while, numbers 2 and 3 managed about 9 months each and number 4 has been there a year so far.

It's a new build house (well not so new now but only 2 years old when we left) so the maintenance costs are pretty low for us.

We use a local agent who I think are great. They sort out all the problems, get stuff fixed for the tenants when they ask, make sensible decisions about what to do, and consult us when necessary. I am slightly worried that they are a bit hassly for the tenants with their endless blinking "inspections" but no-one's complained so far.

It's unfurnished btw and I think we have been without tenants for about 6 weeks in 6 years which seems pretty good to me.

scaryteacher · 03/09/2008 10:05

We're abroad with the Armed Forces, and we rent out our house.

I let unfurnished (needed my furniture and gubbins here), and on the advice of my Managing Agent, without white goods as well.

Tenants pay rent, and all the utility bills and contents insurance for their stuff. I pay maintenance of the house, plus property insurance - DON'T go with Letsure for this - their premiums have rocked up. I found another company who do the same cover for half the price - saved £400 on this last month.

Financially, for us it works. The rent doesn't cover the mortgage, but that is paid out of salary anyway, and if we needed it to, the rent from our house would cover the cost the MOD charges us for the hiring here. I use the money to make improvements to the house, and pay the bills. You offset payments you make such as mortgage interest, insurance, maintenance (chimney sweep/gardeners/cooker and boiler servicing etc) against the rent, plus the Letting Agents fees. I don't pay any income tax on my rent. On paper, I make a loss each year, but the mortgage is paid irrespective of the rental income anyway.

We informed the mortgage company when we remortgaged that we let it out, but as we are Forces, they didn't object (I don't think many do for us), and the mortgage is not a buy to let, as we plan to go back.

Do get an agent - mine is worth her weight in gold and chocolate. She inspects regularly, sorts most things out for me, and is a complete star. She scares me rigid (like a very good headmistress would), so probably has the same effect on the tenants.

We rented ours out because I don't want to buy in Brussels, and plan to return to Cornwall when dh leaves the Services. We keep a toe hold on the property ladder, and have our property looked after. We have nice late middle aged tenants who get on well with the neighbours and love the house and the area. It works all around for us. The house has been let since November 06 when the decorators had finished, and we had I think, a couple of months when the house wasn't let. These tenants have been in since August 07 and want it long term, so touch wood we are OK for the moment.

Good luck!

Tilia · 03/09/2008 21:50

We rented out our previous house twice, once for two years and once for three. Fully furnished as we couldn't take our stuff (and storage costs a fortune). First time round it was just me (pre-husband) and I had so little notice of my posting that I put all my personal stuff in my small single bedroom and let it as a 2-bed. Second time round we had the loft lit and boarded and put stuff up there. You can't leave a house empty for long or your insurance will usually become invalid.
We had great tenants both times who stayed for the duration. The letting agent was OK first time round and (same one) absolutely, utterly useless the second time round, but as we were in Australia there wasn't much we could do. Luckily the tenants (with whom we have remained friends) were wonderful. Moral - get an up-to-date recommendation if you use an agent. (And tip - I think one reason our tentants were good was because they were house owners themselves.)
Financially it was worth it, though the tax paperwork is a bit of a pain, but not so painful that you need to employ someone to do it for you. You claim your expenses against your rental income, and those expenses can (or did) include mortage costs as well as fees, repairs, and a figure for "wear and tear". Just vet tenants (and agents) carefully and go for it!

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