Which? book gives would-be landlords adviceRenting and Letting warns of dangers of rushing in

03 December 2008

Viewing a rental property

Letting your house may seem an appealing option if you’re struggling to sell. However, Renting and Letting, a Which? essential guide, warns you shouldn’t see it as easy cash.

If you rush into it without knowing your legal obligations you could get into hot water. For instance, if your property has a mortgage you need to get the lender’s permission to let it. Otherwise they can demand you pay them back in full and take possession of the property.

Know a landlord’s obligations

Before you let out your property you need to consider some changes.

  • Since 1 October 2008 all landlords have to give tenants an before the contract is signed. This tells you how energy efficient the property is.
  • Since April 2007, all deposits paid by tenants must be placed in one of three approved .
  • Anyone earning extra income from property has to tell the taxman.

If you don’t do one of these you can face a fine or in the case of tax evasion imprisonment.

Landlords are also responsible for the general upkeep of the property, appliances, heating, electricity and plumbing.

Don’t become an accidental Landlord

Kate Faulkner, author of Renting and Letting, a Which? essential guide, says: 'More people than ever are becoming ‘accidental landlords’ as they struggle to sell their homes, and for many, letting them out is the only option.

'However, it’s not just a case of swapping a set of keys for money each month. Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities and obligations, and failure to comply with these could result in problems for landlord and tenant alike.'

You can order 'Renting and Letting' online, or by calling 01903 828557. It's also in bookshops and costs £10.99.

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