Are you taking the right steps as an accidental landlord?

Are you taking the right steps as an accidental landlord?

Not every landlord sets out to become one, in some cases, it is a solution for a change in circumstances. 

  • You may have inherited an additional property and for sentimental reasons are reluctant to sell. 
  • A new relationship may see you moving into you partners’ property and leaving yours behind.  You worked hard to buy this apartment and even though you’re no longer living there, you don’t want to let it go. 
  • You may even have to relocate for work but want to keep your home for when you return. 

All these events and more will need you finding a way of affording the upkeep and repayments on your now empty apartment and therefore you have found yourself seeing renting as the solution.

 

People like yourself who find themselves renting a property but not having a rental business are described as accidental landlords.

 

Renting out your property comes with many responsibilities, you may think that as you’re not a professional landlord and you’re only renting out one property that the rules may differ, but this is not the case.  At The Apartment Company, we work closely with our accidental landlords, taking them through the sometimes-daunting process step by step.

 

Research undertaken by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has been released in a new report entitled ‘The impact of accidental landlords on the private rented sector’.  The report states that there are now 145 letting rules and regulations for landlords to adhere to including more than 100 Acts of Parliament affecting the way landlords own or manage their properties.  It is no surprise therefore that accidental landlords can feel completely overwhelmed.

 

The author of the report, property expert Kate Faulkner said; “The problem with accidental landlords is that as they don’t do this as a business they may well not have any way of keeping up to date with changes in rules and regulations.”  And it’s no wonder with what seems like an ever-evolving door of changes last year alone.

 

One advantage of using a letting agent to let and manage your property is that they will be able to advise you when changes occur and support you in making them happen. 

 

Should you be living a distance from your property, repairs and maintenance could prove challenging.    At The Apartment Company, we have a great online system where tenants can record problems and we can ensure they are resolved by an experienced and qualified professional quickly.  Certain repairs will need to be certified to meet the legal standards for letting a property, therefore it is essential that the right tradesmen are called.

 

The number of accidental landlords in the UK may surprise you as the RLA report found that in some areas up to 30% of the properties rented were through and accidental landlord.  The report suggests that; ‘A concentrated effort to tackle better education and briefing of accidental landlords may actually be one of the key ways to improving standards in the private rented sector.”

 

As of 23 November 2016, landlords in Wales have had to legally register as part of their Rent Smart Wales Scheme.  One of the aims of the scheme is to address this lack of education in a hope of improving standards throughout Wales.  The industry as a whole is watching closely to see how this change in Welsh legislation does impact on the sector.  There are similar schemes in pockets of England but nothing to the scale of Rent Smart Wales as yet.

 

If you find your change in circumstances seeing you looking at letting a property as a solution, come and talk to our lettings team at The Apartment Company and we can ensure that the steps you take are the right ones.

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