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By Mr Bags
Hi all,

Any landlords able to help with some advice?

I will be moving out of my house for two years and renting elsewhere - and I would like to rent out my house in order to help cover our costs until we return.

I have never rented out any property before, let alone my family house, and I have no knowledge at all about the process. I consider myself very green in this field.

Ideally I'd like to rent the house furnished (or partly furnished) as my year long rental is furnished, and I'd prefer not to have to put big bulky things (wardrobes, sofas, fridge freezer, washing machine etc) into storage.

A friend of a friend has expressed an interest in renting, which could avoid going through an agency, but I know I will still need a legal agreement - is this a standard document available online, or do I need specialist legal advice? I have close family members only a few hundred yards away who can manage/oversee the house on my behalf for simple things.

I guess my biggest fear is if payments stop, and the tenants refuse to move - how does one mitigate (easily) for this?

Any top tips from those with experience would be very welcome - I've seen tv programmes about 'tenants from hell' and the stress caused, so would like to avoid any potential problems or issues!

Many thanks in advance.

I can heartily recommend renting to the visiting forces (Lakenheath and Mildenhall in our case) . They darent cause hassle or their authorities are there to sanction them.

Rob P
kanga liked this
You need to be prepared to deal with issues (washing machine has broken) and occasional inspections. If you have one long term tenant, and you or someone you trust can deal with those, you don't need an agency. However the hassle of dealing with tenants who are unknown to you / change regularly and maintenance can soon become a full time job - so an agency will deal with that hassle. You are also required to do various legal things (such as get an energy performance cert, protecting their deposit, certain checks on tenants, registering as a landlord (in certain areas). You may have to get hard wired, linked, smoke detectors (might be Scotland only).
I can't help with the actual paperwork - different legal basis up here in Scotland. There are sample agreements available various places online and worth reading through
Going through an agency is easier (so long as they are a good agency - get some local recommendations).
I should say - if you have an end date - make sure everyone knows that. It can be hard to move out people who are settled.
From the aspect of the renter: We rented for a year while our present house was being built:

I knew the owner who had been a colleague at the local hospital who normally rented out to USAF personnel at a premium as they had a pretty good allowance.

In view of high rental asked I managed to knock him down to local rental levels: Point is he did it through a local agent who were invariably there the next day to fix stuff:

There was plenty of stuff to fix: the cousins were pretty laidback in their attitude to the property , so we needed a new cooker, plumbing and electrical jobs, locks on gates, disintegrating garden shed , loft insulation, utility meter problems , leaking conservatory roof ,missing loft TV amplifier/aerial. etc etc and I guess if our landlord hadn't done it through an agent he would pretty soon have been nobbed off with our constant calls......

use an agent!


Above posters have a higher opinion of agents than I do. Stories I hear is that they take your money and then are useless when anything needs doing. I don't bother.

Our local post office sells some basic agreements and that is all I use. I reckon if you end up going to the law you've lost anyway.

Meet the people, take references, follow your instinct, but you have to accept you are taking a risk.

You may wish to try to exclude smokers or pets but how you would enforce that I don't know.

Here you go: ... ement.html
Rob P liked this
We've never rented ours out but my experience of the few times we had to rent is that there is a difference between renting from someone whose family home it is versus a professional landlord. No immediate difference in service but a family home has more emotion attached. That and the phonecalls at possibly inconvenient times argues for an agent.
Be prepared for the worst case scenario, which is, No rent, eviction costs and a complete refit.

Some of it you can insure against, but what you can't insure against is the potential distress.
Many thanks everyone - some useful suggestions here. I'm beginning to realise that being the family home, there is certainly more of an emotional side to this than if it was just a business rental. I have plenty to think about. The links have also proved a very useful info source as well! Thank you.
Respectable looking School teacher and his partner.
Turned out to both be alcoholics that fought all night annoying the neighbours. Tried to get me arrested for tresspass. Eventually got them evicted, lost 4 months rent and court costs.

Retired police officer.
Moved in two damn great alsatians that trashed the decor. Then had Littlewoods trying to debt collect on me after he buggered off, having set up an account in my name! Only reason they backed off was because I promised to bring my size 9 feet into Court. He'd bought size 11 shoes.

Quiet young couple with kids.
Turned out to be drug dealers, police raid found hand gun. :shock: needed a skip for that one.

Another young couple, no kids.
Chip pan fire destroyed brand new kitchen. Only discovered that one after their friends boyfriend had karate kicked his way through the UPVC front door and police were called. They disappeared owing rent.

Single mum
Trashed a brand new kitchen work top, "what's a chopping board?" She said. :roll:

They certainly are not all that bad, lots are good, but it is like rolling dice sometimes.
On agencies there are plenty of bad ones so take recommendations. Also make sure they are advertising your place properly.
Last place I rented it was advertised with a parking space (under building secure garage). However they neglected to give me the key fob for the garage.
After much going backwards and forwards, with the agency trying to say parking wasn't included (but I had a printout of the original advert), they admitted the owner had told them not to rent the parking as he was wanting to rent the space to someone else.
The agency also hadn't an inventory of items in the flat when I moved in - so they made one up which they tried to get me to sign without checking (it was completely wrong).

Previous rental, the agency were great.
All of the above.

Join the Residential Landlords Association which have great advice and online standard tenancy agreement.

Use an agent or be prepared to organise maintenance etc resulting from phone calls at daft o'clock. Also it makes the agent responsible for establishing that the tenant has the right to rent in the UK.

Section 21, outside of the current pandemic rules, gives a vehicle to remove recalcitrant tenants. Took us 8 months to remove one non-payer and cost us thousands. That was an extreme case which we haven't had repeated in the last 10 years fortunately.

Renting as furnished/partly furnished means that all the furniture provided must/should have a fire certificate attached. Furnishings that have emotional value should be in storage.

Your house should have a fire alarm in each common area, eg kitchen, hall, landing etc plus a CO alarm in each room with a boiler or fire (gas or solid fuel). They should be mains powered with back up batteries and it is recommended that they are linked so that one sets off all.

There is no room for emotion in property rental. If you decide to rent be prepared to get the property back looking nothing like it did when you rented it.

We have rented our family home for a two year period while I worked away. There was minor damage to some curtains and a freezer drawer and that was about it, I regarded us as being extremely lucky!

Good luck.