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What Does it Mean to Become an 'Accidental' Landlord?

With the current market conditions so buoyant, the speed of some transactions can have unexpected consequences for some buyers and sellers. There may be a short period of time when you need to rent your property out in order to complete on your new home – or for buyers to rent the house back to the seller if the chain has slowed down. In addition, the rental market is very strong with properties being let extremely quickly.

We caught up with Alexandra Charlier from GTH in Yeovil who explains her circumstances and how letting her property, with advice from Rowanne Cole, Lettings Manager in our Dorchester office, was the right step for her and her partner.

“Letting out our two bedroom flat was not something that I considered or even thought about. After all the madness of Covid and lockdowns we realised that we needed more space and began to look into purchasing a new home. We first advertised our flat for sale; we thought it would go quickly and easily but unfortunately didn’t quite get the interest that we thought we might. Our next point of call was to remove the flat from the market and try again in six or so months’ time. I was just browsing estate agents windows in our local town when I noticed how much you could get a month for renting a two bedroom flat out. This was something I had never thought about, but having looked into it turned out to be the best thing for us to do.

But where do you even begin with letting? I had so many questions running through my head; what would I have to do? Is it stressful? Who is in charge of the maintenance? Do I have to deal with the people who are renting the property? How do I find tenants? What happens if in the end I want to sell?

I very quickly found out after a quick chat with Rowanne that all my worries and questions were very easily answered. Going through an experienced letting agent gives you a worry free way of letting your house or apartment. They take over everything and leave you to concentrate on and carry on with your life.

Taking the first step is simple; give your local letting agent a call and they will come over and inspect the property and give you an idea of how much you can make per month from renting and what their fees are. Next, decide if you will leave your property furnished or unfurnished, in our case we are leaving it part furnished as we don’t currently have the space to take all our furniture. This can be great for tenants moving in if they don’t quite have enough to fill the space or everything they need to be comfortable. We have been advised that the property should be tenanted in about six weeks’ time which is fantastic – it gives us enough time to move out and not so long that we are sat waiting.”

Rowanne Cole, Lettings Manager in our Dorchester office, explains the three different service levels and some key points on letting –
  1. Full managed – GTH will do everything. This includes finding the tenant, moving them in, drawing up all the legal documents, drawing up inventory to detail condition of the property, visiting the tenant and property every three months (post Covid) to ensure compliance with gas safety etc. is maintained. We also collect the rent, pay the contractors, check the tenant out and can deal with deposit disputes.
  2. Rent collection – GTH will find the tenant and ensure compliance to start with and then collect rent, but hand over management to the landlord thereafter.
  3. Tenant find – GTH will just find the tenant and ensure all compliance to start with, then hand it back to the landlord to manage and collect rent.

Our lettings agents are also able to register or hold deposits for landlords and this is included in any service level they choose. We pride ourselves on being extremely flexible to the landlord’s needs and can do as little or as much as they would like.
With the market how it is at present, those who are in two minds about selling are likely to find it very easy to let their property. They can then avoid paying council tax on an empty property, and as there is such high demand for rental properties with a lot of people looking to move to the West Country, rental yields are strong.

Here at GTH we have a number of specialist letting agents throughout our office network who can offer advice and help with the next stage of your property journey. Please get in touch today for a no obligation phone call. Find your nearest office here.

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