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Taking the leap in to Private Let


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I've got to the point with my mortgage where I want to give up. I have arrears and the house needs work anyway. There are houses in my area in better condition than mine that let for less than I'm paying for my mortgage. What prevents me from making the jump is fear of the unknown! I just worried that I'll have to keep moving every few months. The letting agents I've spoken to say that I could get a 2 year tenancy or at the very least 6 month leases with extensions without any problems.

 

Just wondered what people’s experiences were - could really do without having to move every few months.

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As an alternative, do you have a spare bedroom?

 

If so, have you considered taking a lodger because you can earn up to something like £385 (maybe more now) tax free from that rent.

 

That would help considerably with the mortgage and buy you some time before you need to take further decisions.

 

I'm personally in a situation whereby I've had nearly 8 years of living relatively happily in this house, but if it's going to be sold, I'm not just stuffed, I'm appalled at the cost of being a tenant and the rip-offs which people are subjected to.

 

So you could strike lucky and get a good landlord/ letting agent, or you could end up with the barstewards that operate in my area.

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I think Phoenix's advice is very sound. Are you planning to sell the house, or just let it go back to the mortgagee? They will sell it for what you owe, not what it is worth, and if they don't get what you owe, they will chase you for the balance.

 

Even if you are reluctant to share your home, if you could just do it for maybe 6 months or a year, it could pull you out of your current bad financial position and make things appear much brighter in the future. I really think you should think very carefully before giving up an asset you have obviously worked hard for. You sound very despondent and making major decisions when in that frame of mind is never a good idea.

 

Regarding renting - I know there are some seriously bad landlords out there - but you should remember that on forum boards such as these you only hear about the bad ones. I am a landlord, I have two houses, both let - in one the tenants are in their fourth year, and in the second the tenants are in their third year.

 

If you decide to go the renting route you need to ask the right questions - e.g. how many properties does the LL have (i.e. is LL a serious LL or just a newbe buy-to-let LL with no experience and whose mortgage might end up like yours.....). You could check that LL has permission from the mortgagee to let the property. If not, the buildings insurance could well be invalid.

 

Read any paperwork from back to front and make sure you understand all the implications of anything you are signing. Do not sign anything you are not happy with.

 

Check what charges you will be expected to pay and details of what such charges are for.

 

Remember - your contract as Tenant is with the Landlord, NOT the Agent.

The Agent may sign the AST, but is signing on behalf of the LL as LL's representative. Agent's agreement is with Landlord, not with you. Always remember that Agent works for LL, not you, however helpful he may appear.

 

If you view a property you like, but there are things which need sorting, get them sorted BEFORE you move in, or details IN WRITING that such things will be sorted. (Again and again I hear "the agent said this would be fixed" but it never does get fixed!!)

 

When you view, check things - e.g. pull out drawers, ask if the washing machine is in full working order, check the toilet seat is not broken(!!), flush the toilet to make sure it is working; open the oven door......

 

Make sure a full check in inventory is carried out (preferably with photographs) and that you agree with it and sign it. Make sure that stain on the carpet is recorded at the check in..... This protects both you and the LL in the event of a claim for damages at the end of the tenancy.

 

Ask how your deposit will be protected.

 

Read up on tenant law so you understand exactly what your rights are and what your LL's rights are - it is all on line if you look for it.

 

I would still emphasize that you should seriously consider your actions before giving up your house - give serious consideration to having a lodger for a while.

 

PM me if you think I can help any further.

Edited by Kentish Lass

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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