An accidental landlord is, as the name suggests, someone who has ended up letting out a property they own through circumstances, rather than by design.
There are a wide range of reasons why this might be. You might have purchased a home in an area but then need to relocate for job or family commitments. You don’t want to sell the property you’ve recently bought so you decide to let it out instead.
Equally, you may have inherited a property from a close family member that has died. Again, rather than selling it on, it might make more sense to rent it out.
Other possible reasons might be that you have decided to move abroad but want to keep a place of residence in the UK – so you decide to let this home out. It could also be to do with relationship break-ups or divorce.
At Letting Solutions we currently have landlords in all these categories.
Whatever the reasons might be, you have decided that the most sensible, or only, option is to rent out your property rather than sell it on or remain living there.
As you’d expect, accidental landlords might be less prepared and less experienced than someone who has entered the industry with the express intention of letting their home.
As an accidental landlord, you might not know about your legal obligations or the sorts of discussions that you should be having with your mortgage provider and insurer now that you intend to let the property in question.
You might not be aware of deposit schemes, safety obligations, tenancy agreements, the rights of you and your tenants, your tax liabilities, other regulatory requirements, or how to carry out a proper inventory.
This, of course, is where an experienced and knowledgeable letting agent can lend a hand. They can help an accidental landlord get to grips with their new role and make sure the whole process is as easy, smooth and hassle-free as it possibly can be.
And, while accidental landlords may have rather fallen into the job of renting out properties, there are definite benefits to this approach.
Being a landlord is an excellent way to generate an additional income. If your property has the advantage of being in a popular, busy area, it will be easy to occupy with tenants, rental income will be steady and void periods will be successfully swerved.
So, you could go from a position of having a property that you are not living in, and one that is costing you money to keep running, to instead being in a position where a regular stream of rental income is coming in and positive rental yields can be achieved.
Another possible benefit is property maintenance. If the home is left empty there is a good chance it could fall into disrepair. Homes that are left unloved or abandoned for a significant period of time often do.
By letting it out to good, reliable tenants, the obligation to maintain the property is that much higher – because you want to appeal to tenants in the first place and then give them a pleasant living space once they’ve moved in.
Also, if you get good, reliable tenants to occupy your home, they will not only pay you their rent on time, they will also look after the property like it’s their own. This means you don’t have to worry about the state of the house that you, for whatever reason, have no current use for.
What’s more, now is as good a time as any to rent property out. The number of people renting is higher than ever – and only set to go higher still in the next few years. So finding a tenant is easy in this climate. We can find a tenant for most properties on our books within 24 hours, a dream scenario for a landlord.
With tenant demand so high, there should be little issue in filling your properties. As a guaranteed form of income, rent is as safe a bet as you can get at the minute.
If you have become an accidental landlord and would like some advice from an experienced, reputable letting agency, please get in contact with Letting Solutions on 01506 496006.
As West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we will do all we can to get your home let and earning you a regular supply of rental income.
To find out how much you could be charging in rent, please check out our free and instant rental valuation tool.