Selling the family home is always a huge decision. Often it’s the right thing to do because you need more space as the family grows. Or less space when children fly the nest. Sometimes though, it’s not the only option. One example is if you are leaving the area. For us, travelling for a few months to a year has always been a consideration. If we end up doing so, we don’t really want to sell up. However, we also don’t want to be paying the whole mortgage on a house we’re not living in, so renting out the house may be the answer. Of course, if we do decide to do so, there is a lot to consider.
It is possible to get an instant valuation online to see how much your house would rent out for. This won’t necessarily be exactly right because it will depend on the condition and size of the house. However, it will give you a good idea about how much you will be likely to make per month. If you are unable to pay the mortgage yourself, it is important to know that the rent will be enough to cover it.
Decide whether you will rent the house out as furnished or unfurnished. This will make a difference to the price. Once all these decisions are made and the property is ready to go, you can get an agent round to give a firm estimate on what you should charge per month.
Getting the house ready to rent
There are certain regulations that apply to rental properties. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to your tenants to provide them with somewhere safe and comfortable to live. Many people like to rent a property that is painted in neutral colours internally so they can make it their own. You may need to spruce up the outside as well, I know we would.
There are a huge number of regulations that landlords need to comply with as well. Gas and electrical equipment needs to be safe and you need to provide an energy performance certificate. The house needs to comply with fire safety regulations, be free from hazards and be fit to pass health and safety inspections. Further details are available on the government website.
Much like home insurance for the house you live in, landlord insurance is essential to protect your property. It is designed specifically with buy-to-let properties in mind and insures the building itself and the fixtures and fittings. Basic insurance covers incidents such as explosions, fire and lightening strikes.
It is sensible to go for comprehensive CIA landlord insurance, which can also cover against loss of rent and the expense of alternative accommodation as a result of damage. It will also cover you for theft or malicious damage by the tenants on certain policies. If you are renting out the family home while you are elsewhere, this will provide much needed peace of mind.
Length of tenancy
For us, renting out our home would be for a specific reason such as deciding to travel for a year. In this instance, it is really important to be clear about how long the property will be available for. This allows landlords to be paired with tenants who have similar expectations. For example, a professional who is on a secondment for 12 months would be better placed to rent out our home than somebody who would like to settle down for several years.