The Accidental Landlord

With more homeowners than ever considering letting their homes due to the current property slump, how do they know their going about it the right way?

Many homeowners feel somewhat overwhelmed and daunted at the process they invariably encounter when considering letting their homes.  This new breed of landlord may have made the choice to let their house in a bid to move to a new property themselves but may not be able to sell the former house or may not want to.  This Accidental Landlord has become a relatively new phenomenon.

One of the biggest challenges in residential lettings they face is the legal aspect.

Things an Accidental Landlord needs to Know:
1.  If you are using a ‘Letting Agent’, they will advertise and supply the tenant.
2.  The agent will conduct the credit checks and check references.
3.  The agent will confirm a tenancy agreement with you.
4.  The agent will deliver two tenancy agreements to the tenant, which both the tenant and the landlord sign, agreeing,    terms and conditions pertaining to the tenancy.
5.  The agent will secure an inventory including the condition of the property, which both parties agree and sign.
6.  The agent will collect the rent and periodically check the property for you.
Agents commission vary, but is usually around the 10% mark.

While these are all necessary procedures, there still remain other issues, which you will need to remember.
Things an Accidental Landlord needs to consider:
1.  Every residential letting needs an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
2.  Building and/or Contents Insurance
3.  Public Liability Insurance
4.  Accidental & Malicious Damage Cover
5.  Unoccupied Full Cover
6.  Rent Guarantee Insurance.  (This ensures that you receive your rent, if your tenant fails to pay).
7.  Legal Expense Cover.  Unfortunately things can and sometimes do go wrong so it’s important that you have that extra cover, to give you peace of mind.  Your insurers will be able to evict any nuisance tenants should the need arise, without you having to confront the issue directly yourself.

Finally, some important practicalities:

* Ensure you have your post re-directed to your new home.  Don’t give anyone the opportunity to order goods and run up bills in your name.  Identity theft is on the increase.
*  Ensure you notify the utility providers, i.e.; gas, electric, water, telephone, council tax of the new tenants details.
*  Read your metres before the new tenant moves in.

Madalena Penny

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