How To Let Your Home

Letting out your home is a significant decision that can offer financial benefits. However, the prospect of becoming a landlord for the first time can be more than a little daunting. This guide aims to demystify the process and offer practical advice. Whether you’re considering this option due to relocation, as a form of investment, or perhaps to cover mortgage payments, this article will walk you through the essentials.

Understanding the Legal Framework
Before diving into the world of letting, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal obligations that come with being a landlord in the UK. This includes ensuring your property meets specific safety standards, such as gas safety, electrical equipment safety and fire safety regulations. Additionally, you’ll need to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which must have a minimum rating of E unless your property is exempt.
It’s also vital to understand the rights and responsibilities regarding deposits, right to rent checks, repairs and how and when you can increase rent. Utilising tenancy agreements that clearly outline these aspects can prevent future disputes.
Checking with Your Mortgage Company
Before letting out your property, one crucial step often overlooked by first-time landlords is checking with their mortgage lender. If you have a mortgage on the property you wish to let, you must obtain permission from your mortgage company to change its use from a personal residence to a rental property. This process is known as gaining “consent to let.”
Why is Consent to Let Important?
• Contractual Obligations: Your mortgage agreement was based on the property being used as a personal residence. Changing its use without permission could breach the terms of your mortgage agreement.
• Insurance Validity: Failing to inform your lender could invalidate your existing home insurance policy, leaving you unprotected in the event of damage or loss.
• Financial Implications: Some lenders may change the terms of your mortgage or adjust the interest rate if you switch to letting the property. In certain cases, a higher interest rate or a one-time fee might be applied for consent to let.
How to Obtain Consent to Let

  1. Contact Your Lender: Reach out to your mortgage lender as early as possible to discuss your intentions. Each lender has its own policies and criteria for granting consent to let, so it’s vital to understand these specifics upfront.
  2. Provide Required Information: Be prepared to share details about your financial situation, the reason for letting, and any potential tenants. Some lenders might also request a business plan or proof of adequate landlord insurance.
  3. Review the Terms: If your lender grants consent to let, they will issue terms that may include changes to your mortgage rate or additional fees. Carefully review these terms to ensure they are feasible for your situation.
  4. Understand the Duration: Consent to let is typically granted for a limited period, often between one and two years, after which you may need to reapply or switch to a buy-to-let mortgage.
    Planning for the Future
    Given the temporary nature of consent to let, consider your long-term plans. If you intend to let your property for an extended period, it might be more appropriate to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage. These mortgages are specifically designed for rental properties and may offer more suitable terms for your needs as a landlord.
    Preparing Your Property
    Presentation is key to attracting the right tenants and achieving the best possible rental income. Start with basic repairs and ensure the property is clean and welcoming. Consider whether to let your property furnished or unfurnished, but remember, the choice might affect the type of tenants you attract.
    Undertaking safety checks and ensuring all appliances are in working order is not just a legal requirement; it’s a fundamental aspect of tenant care. Securing comprehensive landlord insurance is also advisable to protect your property and income.
    Finding the Right Tenants
    Once your property is ready to be let, finding trustworthy and reliable tenants is the next critical step. This process involves marketing your property effectively, which can range from online listings to employing the services of a reputable estate agent like Newton Fallowell. Conducting thorough background and reference checks on potential tenants can help in making an informed decision.
    The Importance of a Robust Tenancy Agreement
    A detailed tenancy agreement is paramount in laying the foundation for a successful landlord-tenant relationship. This legally binding document should cover all aspects of the tenancy, including rent, deposit, duration, tenant and landlord obligations, and any specific conditions you wish to include. Ensuring clarity in this document can help prevent misunderstandings and legal complications down the line.
    Ongoing Management and Maintenance
    Being a landlord doesn’t end with handing over the keys. Effective property management is essential for maintaining the value of your investment and ensuring your tenants are satisfied. This includes regular inspections and maintenance, prompt repairs and being responsive to tenant communications. If self-management seems overwhelming, consider hiring a property management company to handle day-to-day operations on your behalf.
    Staying Informed and Compliant
    Landlord regulations and housing standards are subject to change, so it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest laws and best practices in property management. Joining a landlord association or subscribing to industry publications can be invaluable resources for keeping up to date.

Letting out your home can be a rewarding venture if approached with diligence, preparation and an understanding of your responsibilities as a landlord. By ensuring your property meets legal standards, finding the right tenants and maintaining a healthy landlord-tenant relationship, you can enjoy the benefits of your investment for years to come.
If you’re ready to take the next step in becoming a landlord but are looking for professional guidance and support, Newton Fallowell is here to help. With extensive experience in the local property market, our team can assist you with every aspect of letting your home, from valuation to tenant screening and property management. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your journey into property letting a smoother process.