Thinking about letting your home?
As the credit crunch continues, many home owners are struggling to pay bills. To relieve some of the pressure, many people are being forced to become private landlords and rent out their homes. Rental income can help the budget, but a lack of knowledge of the law can prove costly further down the line.
Failing to talk to your mortgage lender could see people loose their home. Not storing a tenants deposit in an approved scheme could cost landlords dearly (up to three times the initial deposit) and failure to licence a property (if appropriate) could result in a fine of up to £20,000. This guidance provides the information you need to stay on the right side of the law.
By following this simple ten point checklist, people can avoid trouble when renting their homes:
- Speak to your mortgage lender
- Get references from potential tenants
- Prepare a formal tenancy agreement
- If you take a deposit, it must be properly protected
- Obtain an energy performance certificate
- Find out whether you need a property licence
- Get all your gas and electrical items checked
- Minimise the risk from fire
- Ensure that your property presents no risk to your tenants' health and safety
- Don't find yourself in court when something goes wrong.
More information on these points can be found in the leaflet "Thinking about renting out your home?" which can be downloaded below.
The government has also produced a useful Dos and Don'ts factsheet for landlords giving advice on securing a suitable letting agent, the need for written agreements and inventories, and protecting tenant's deposits.