PROPERTY LETTING GUIDE: What are some reasons for renting out a home you own?
It can be a financial benefit if you find it difficult to sell your own house while trading up.
Renting out a property could be handy if you want live in a different area (or country) for a while. That means you could be earning income from your rented property.
But, in all these cases, it is important to do your research into the property letting market.
You should start by checking what sorts of properties are getting let in your area. Then, determine how much rent they get for ones like yours.
Do you intend using a letting agent? If so, consider the different options available in your area. Check out what services they offer and what their letting rates are. Asking other landlords for recommendations is always a good place to start.
As a rule there are two different types of landlords. Professional buy-to-let landlords are usually aware of the liabilities of being a landlord.
But, you have the same culpability when renting out your home as an ‘accidental landlord‘. Use this property letting guide find out your financial and safety responsibilities. That includes making repairs, rent increases, and changing regulated tenancies.
Landlord Responsibilities UK
Do you have a mortgage on the property that you want to rent out? If so, you must get permission from your mortgage lender before renting out your home.
You must also inform them that someone else will be living in the property. In some cases, you may need to switch to a different mortgage plan. Being a landlord means you must also:
- Perform a tenant right to rent check if your property is in England.
- Keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards.
- Ensure safe installment of all gas and electrical equipment (including regular maintenance).
- Provide appropriate Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for the property.
- Protect your tenant’s deposit in one of the government-approved deposit protection schemes.
- Provide a copy of the ‘How to Rent Checklist‘ to your tenant when they start renting from you (you can send it by email).
Note: You can search online to find an accredited energy assessor in your local area (e.g. if you need an energy performance certificate for your home).
Landlord Fire Safety Regulations
When renting out your property (England and Wales) it is also the responsibility of the landlord to:
- Install and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for proper function.
- Follow all fire safety regulations for:
Landlord Health and Safety Inspections
Your local council may perform a Housing Health and Safety Rating System check. The HHSRS inspection ensures properties are safe for the people to live in. The council may check your property for possible hazards, such as uneven stairways.
Renting out a property means the council may perform an HHSRS inspection because:
- Your tenant requested an inspection.
- The council did a survey of local properties and think your property may be hazardous.
HHSRS Guidance for Landlords
Housing Health and Safety Rating System inspectors examine 29 health and safety areas. If they find any hazards they will score them as a category 1 or 2, according to its seriousness.
Landlords must take action on any council enforcement notices. But, you do have the right to appeal enforcement notices issued by your council.
The council will take action on any dangerous HHSRS hazard ratings. They may choose to:
- Provide the landlord with an improvement notice.
- Fix the hazard themselves and then charge the landlord you for the cost.
- Stop you or anyone else from using part of, or all, the property.
Financial Responsibilities for Landlords
As a rule, any landlord renting out a property will have to pay:
- Class 2 National Insurance if work you do renting out property counts as running a business (see below).
- Income Tax on your rental income (less your day-to-day running expenses).
Changing Terms of Regulated Tenancies (fair rents)
Landlords must use special rules for changing rents and terms in regulated tenancies. In most cases they are private tenancies which began before the 15th of January 1989.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Renting Out a Property (England and Wales)
Making Property Repairs
A rented property in disrepair needs repairing and maintaining. Landlords and tenants have responsibilities and obligations for making repairs.
A House in Multiple Occupation relates to a residential property with ‘common areas’ that get shared by more than one household.
Paying Tax and National Insurance
You may be liable for Income Tax and National Insurance if you are renting out your property. Check out the latest tax and NI obligations for landlords in the United Kingdom.
Solving Housing Disputes
In some cases, using mediation services can help you solve a residential property dispute. If not, it means having to apply to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber – Residential Property).