As with most things, I entered into it not knowing what I’m doing, or with any real idea of what it takes to achieve this.
It turns out, as with anything worth doing “it’s not easy”. Seems that the world is perfectly set up to keep you in your little box, bubble or any other metaphor used to describe our need to do a job we don’t like to pay for things we don’t need. This is of course not always the case, but was for me.
You need some cash in order to make the step into renting your house out. There’s a lot more involved than you first think. If you want to live in your house, you can do so without any restrictions. If you want other people to live in your house, you have to invite Mr health and safety in. Urghh! The biggest and most expensive costs are the boiler. My boiler has run faultlessly for the 6 years I’ve owned the house, but try and get a gas safety certificate and the tick box form has instantly condemned the unit.
£2klater, new boiler fitted.
Decorating takes a while. After a scene in a film where Tom Hanks decorates a room in one evening, I underestimated the time it will take to decorate the house. Painting everything white probably saves time, as you don’t need to take too much care on the edges. I fell into the same old pitfall of once you paint the walls, the skirting and door frames look yellow.
New carpets make a big difference, but leave them to last. Make you life easier with a little forward planning.
Clearing your house of stuff. Don’t underestimate the amount of clutter, useless junk and dirt you collect. All this needs to go somewhere, and the sooner you can release yourself from these items the easier your life will be.
We went with a recommended letting agent to fully manage the property, and there came a new set of difficulties that I hadn’t even considered.
Get them in early, and encourage them to have a good look around. The earlier they advise you on all the work the better.
Landlord insurance, which I thought was going to be a real headache, was actually a really easy step. Avoid all the big companies and find someone that only deals in landlord insurance. Alan Boswell worked out amazingly well, and the person on the end of the telephone was so helpful, bargain too.
Mortgage. Grey area! Do you tell them? Should you have to re-mortgage? You have to make that decision, but don’t underestimate the issues renting may raise with your mortgage. Also if you’re giving up your job, this may affect you ability to re-mortgage. Unlikely that you will meet the criteria if you’re unemployed. Look into this before you make any concrete decisions, but don’t be intimidated into not realising your dreams. As long as you keep paying, there’s no internal mechanism that keeps banks informed. I’ll leave it at that.