Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lord of Land

With my impending move to new shores the reality that I should actually rent out my current apartment in the UK was something I needed to sort out. Having finally come close to the conclusion of becoming a landlord for the first ever time I thought it prudent to document the things I have learnt over the past four weeks.

The first task in hand was to get some rental valuations from a selection of local agents. After I did this I was only ever going to select the agency that my good friend Stew G uses to manage his buy to let investment property - namely Luff Associates. Needless to say I found them very professional and having met Mary Luff of said company I have total faith in her ability to look after my flat in my absence. In the space of four days she found a pair of professional sharers prepared to take on my place for a 12 month lease.

Finding tenants was the easy part - getting the place ready to rent was another matter. Here are the things I had to get done:

  1. Landlord's certificate for Gas Boiler and Hob - cost 60UKP for the cetificate and about the same for the boiler service. Note to self I should really maintain the british gas service contract due to its age
  2. Landlord's certificate for the electicals also called a Domestic Installation Periodic Inspection Report - you need to get this done by a NICEIC electrician. This test showed a few faults in my wiring which will be rectified this week. Why did the people who installed the kitchen use cheap lighting flex for the plug sockets - so sad...
  3. Landlords contents insurance - seems that this is required for curtains, floors, light fixtures, appliance and everything else I leave in an unfurnished flat....This was easily taken care of by Endsleigh Insurance and the call center girl from Gloucester who I spoke to was really nice. This made the 160 quid premium all the more worth it
  4. Landlords building insurance - this is all ready covered by the joint residents insurance I have all ready
  5. The tax man - again after telling the tax office I am no longer resident in this country and despite making an overall loss on the rental of the flat vs mortgage/upkeep I had to fill in ANOTHER form this time a Non-resident Landlords form. Having done this I now have to complete a self assessment form every year now despite having managed to avoid this for the last two tax years.
  6. Professional Inventory, rent guarantee and legal expense insurance and professional cleaning prior to occupancy are all other additional costs that will be taken out of my first rent cheque along with the 11.5%+VAT fee for Luff Associates - means I doubt I will see any money at all for the first two months.
Having added up the cost of preparing and renting the flat out I am still trying to convince myself that I have done the right thing. People keep telling me I am....however they are not the ones who keep asking me for money....

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