What is an Accidental Landlord?
Many landlords relish the responsibilities of managing their property and renting a house or flat to a tenant, with estate agents in Manchester offering guidance and support. For many, renting properties is their main source of income. On the other hand, accidental landlords are placed in a somewhat unfortunate scenario, whereby they rent their property due to circumstances that may be placed out of their control.
For example, there are times whereby an owner isn’t in a position whereby they’re unable to sell their property, whether this is their residence or an inherited home, despite the best efforts of their estate agents.
This leaves the owner(s) with a choice to make: Either leave the house unoccupied or list the property as being available to rent. While this is a preferable option as it permits the owner to continue paying their mortgage repayments, it does present a conundrum, as in doing so, they’ve taken on the additional responsibility of being the landlord for their new tenant, albeit against their intentions.
Many people turn to estate agents to help in such circumstances. For example, an agent will be able to add the property to their listings during the initial stages when the property is vacant.
However, this support doesn’t necessarily eradicate some of the issues that can occur and being an accidental landlord can be challenging. For instance, if the property is situated far away from the owner’s home address, this can make communicating with a tenant all the more difficult.
Being a landlord is hard work at the best of times, let alone when circumstances mean that you’re finding yourself in a position whereby you have little or no option to oblige. The experience can be daunting, tiresome and scary, but before you embark on your accidental adventure, consider the following questions to assure you and your property are protected.
Estate Agents Guidance for Accidental Landlords
Do You Have Safety Certificates?
It’s a legal obligation for landlords to provide necessary documentation indicating that their property is safe and habitable for their tenants.
Multiple certificates need to be provided, including gas safety certificates acquired following a check from a gas engineer and a copy must be submitted to the tenant.
Moreover, a fire safety order is required and a risk assessment must be in place, adhering to the criteria of the order.
EPC certificates are also needed before a landlord can rent a property, while the property must pass a thorough electrical inspection and also be fitted with carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.
Do You Have Specialist Landlord Insurance?
Although you may have home insurance, such policies aren’t sufficient if you’re renting a property; it’s fundamental to take our specialist landlord insurance to ensure that you’re fully protected.
There is a range of different insurance policies designed to meet different requirements. For example, building insurance protects your property if it’s damaged by fire or water and so forth, while landlord contents insurance is essential for landlords of furnished properties, as this policy covers the costs of replacing essentials such as electricals and carpets. Perhaps most importantly, landlord liability insurance provides you with cover if your tenant is injured when they’re in the property.
Remember, there are sometimes unfortunate scenarios whereby a tenant doesn’t pay their rent. In circumstances such as these, landlord insurance will provide you with the essential cover that can be supported with legal support.
Is Your Mortgage Provider Aware of Developments?
Any changes in circumstances must be reported to your mortgage company as soon as possible.
There will be important factors that will be considered, with your mortgage provider taking time to contemplate whether the rental income generated from the property will be sufficient to pay the mortgage. Moreover, they’ll also consider whether you’ll be able to consolidate payments if there are periods when the property isn’t occupied.
Irrespective of whether you think your request will be successful, you must ensure that you report your change of circumstances. A failure to do so could be considered mortgage fraud, in which case your mortgage can be revoked.
Have You Screened Prospective Tenants?
Before accepting an application from a would-be tenant, always be sure to complete a Right to Rent check. This will provide you with peace of mind that the applicant is legally permitted to reside in the country and estate agents will often be able to help you complete this process.
If you make the decision not to use an agent, then be aware that the responsibility lies with you to conduct a background check. This process is applicable for all tenants, including British citizens and every adult who lives in the property, irrespective of whether they’re listed on the tenancy agreement.
If you’re struggling to find someone to stay in your property, consult your estate agents – it’s often the case that they offer a tenant finding and management service that can save you time, rather than searching independently.
If you rent your property to someone who isn’t permitted to reside in England, then you can be imprisoned or be fined.
Does Your Property Adhere to Energy Regulations?
Previously, it was a prerequisite for rental properties to have a minimum rating of an E on an energy performance certificate. However, at the start of 2020, rental properties with an F or G no longer met the standards for the rental market.
If a property is rented to a tenant that doesn’t meet these requirements, then the landlord can be fined up to £5000. Therefore, contact an assessor, arrange for a consultation and acquire the necessary documents; once you have a certificate, it’s valid for ten years.
Pad Residential: A Manchester Estate Agents Supporting Accidental Landlords
Entering the realm of property can be daunting, especially when you’ve stumbled into a property rental mistakenly. In addition to helping people buy homes, Pad Residential provides support for landlords who need support navigating the sometimes-precarious road of property lettings; we also work with Scanlans, a property management company who may be able to provide supplementary services befitting of your requirements.
Based in Manchester city centre, our specialist team have assisted many landlords and acted as a pillar of support for those who have begun their maiden journey as a property landlord.
Are you an accidental landlord in need of support? Contact Pad Residential and discuss your requirements with our experienced team – we’d be delighted to help you.