For many homeowners, letting provides and obvious investment opportunity as an alternative to selling. With the right expert help from your letting agent, the matter should be quite straightforward, although there are certain consents that should be obtained if you are to avoid some potentially costly problems.
You will certainly need the consent of your mortgage provider. They are unlikely to object, but you could be in breach of your mortgage terms if you have not obtained their consent before letting your property. They may also charge an “administration” fee. One important thing to check is that there is no clause that increases the interest rate on your loan should the property be used as a “commercial venture”.
If you own the freehold, you should check whether your title deeds impose any restrictive covenants of which the tenant should be aware. For example, there may be a restriction preventing anyone keeping a caravan on the forecourt, or storing building materials for more than a few days. If your property is leasehold, you will have to check the conditions of your lease as there may be similar restrictions and/or you may have to obtain the freeholder’s consent.
Importantly, once consent has been obtained, you must ensure that your tenant is aware of, and complies with, any obligations that you yourself would observe as owner in residence.
Finally, insurance. You should obtain permission from both your buildings and contents insurer. There may well be an increase in premiums where a property is let, although there are insurers who specialise in this. As a minimum you should ensure that you are covered for any third party liability in respect of injuries to your tenant whilst at your property.
Please let us know if you would like us to look over your lease or title deeds to see what consents might be required to ensure your peace of mind for a successful let.