If your home has been on the market for months without a sale, you may be considering moving home and renting out your property instead.  Thanks to the recession and the UK’s well documented housing market problems, more and more so-called ‘reluctant landlords’ are entering the rental market.

The Daily Express reports that Ian Potter from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) is urging potential landlords to be careful.  “While owners forced to let out their home can reap significant benefits by holding on to their home, letting can be full of potential hazards, especially for inexperienced landlords.”

If you are considering letting out your home, here are three things you should know.

Talk to your lender and insurer

Unless you bought your home with a buy-to-let mortgage, you need to get permission from your lender if you plan to let the property.  Your lender may keep your mortgage unchanged for a short-term let but may increase your interest rate if you plan to let it out for longer.

Adhere to a tenancy deposit scheme

When you initially let your home you are likely to take a deposit (often one month’s rent). You should therefore make sure that you abide by new landlord regulations that require you to place the money in one of three Government-approved tenancy deposit schemes.

The ‘Deposit Protection Service’ holds the deposit and only releases it at the end of the agreement.  The ‘MyDeposits’ and ‘Tenancy Deposit Scheme’ offer insurance-backed schemes under which the deposit is held by either you or a letting agent, and an insurance premium is paid to cover any claims by the tenant.

Keep to regulations

If you are leaving furniture in your home, or there is a gas and/or electricity supply to the property, ensure you comply with the relevant regulations. Ian Potter from ARLA says: “There are regulations governing the installation of electrical equipment so make sure you’re clued up and get any equipment regularly tested. 

“The same is also true for gas appliances, which must be certified and checked annually.”

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