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Renting a second home: Things to consider

Posted on Friday, 14 February 2014 04:14PM by Artful Lodger
At a time when bills are constantly rising but average wages are staying the same, many people are looking for a way to earn an extra income. One way of achieving this is by letting out a second property.
For those lucky enough to come into the possession of a suitable residence, a steady, dependable income can be made from it.

At the end of the day being a landlord generally just requires a lot of common sense, however, there are a number of things that you should consider before renting out a property.

Have you got the right insurance policy?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is your insurance policy. Will it provide you with adequate cover?
Now that you are a landlord there are other things to consider in terms of insurance. For example loss of rent, alternative accommodation and cover against any other unexpected incidents.

Letting the property may alter the terms of your current contract and so it could be a wise move to seek out specialist property insurance to ensure you and and your property are properly protected.
Remember, this is a source of income, there’s no need to waste that extra money because of a failure to cover your second home properly.

Is the property in a suitable state?
Make sure the property is suitable to let. Some things you can address for yourself, for example redecorating a room. However, when it comes to gas, electric and water, its best if you seek the services of a professional.
Gas fittings and boilers should be checked at least once a year, failing to do so may leave tenants at risk and could also cause problems with your insurance provider.

Check your tenant
It is a good idea to carry out a credit check on any potential tenants. Not only does this provide you with an ID check, but it also makes a landlord aware of a tenant's financial situation. Most estate agents will be able to carry this out on your behalf.

What should you provide?
If you are offering a furnished property, all furniture in the house must be fire-resistant. This is a must for anybody considering renting out residence.

All gas equipment must have a valid and up to date Gas Safe certificate. Landlords must also provide detailed instructions for any such appliances to ensure that they are operated correctly and in a safe manner.

As well as this, it is wise to fit carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in the property.

Finally, ask yourself - ‘would I live here myself?’ If the answer is ‘no’ then don’t expect anybody else to want to call your property home. A perspective like this can help would-be landlords improve the quality of their residences and ensure that all parties have a positive experience while your property is occupied.

Obviously, if the property is actually your second home then it’s likely you would live there. If, however, the house is a new acquisition, then making sure it is as homely as possible could be the difference between a hassle free letting process and a long-term unoccupied property.