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The Expat Landlord – Guide To Renting Your Home

Expat Landlord Guide To Renting Your Home

The Expat Landlord – Guide To Renting Your Home

I’ve Decided To Move Abroad How Do I Rent My Home?

We are asked this question many times by an Expat Landlord. If you are considering renting your home, and moving to another country it can be quite a daunting prospect. There are many factors to consider so you will have to make sure that you tick all the boxes before considering this move.

Which Letting Agency Should You Choose?

This will be the hardest decision for an Expat Landlord.  There are many factors you will have to decide as you will be entrusting a company with your investment. 

Firstly don’t just walk into any letting agency, give them the keys and think everything is going to run smoothly.  Do research, call at least three letting agents in your area and speak to the agent who is in charge of the management side of the company.

Establish the type of person they are as you will need to have a good working relationship and feel comfortable speaking to them on the telephone.  Once you have established this then arrange a meeting, with all three if you have to, as this is key to meet and greet as there are many questions you must ask.

Before you go look at their reviews.  If there are a few that may not be great ask them about them when you attend.  Not all agencies are the same, use an independent agency.  They may be smaller in size but you will find them to be more personal.  Most independents have the directors working in branch, the larger agencies are run by managers, and not the owners. Remember.. A bigger agency does not mean you will receive a better service.

What Questions To Ask The Letting Agent?

Here are a few questions that you should ask the letting agent.

  1. How long has the agent been working in management?
  2. Does the agency have many overseas clients?
  3. How long has the agency been established?
  4. Is the agent up to date with current laws?
  5. What is the process when working with overseas clients in terms of maintenance?
  6. What is the process when payments need to be made to me?
  7. How does the agency communicate with overseas clients?
  8. What provisions are made if there are any problems?
  9. What are the maintenance charges if work need to be carried out?
  10. What is the agency timescale on checking the property?
  11. Will my rent deposit be protected?
  12. How will I be notified if there are any problems?
  13. Do you carry out rent reviews?
  14. What happens if the tenants don’t pay & what does the agency do?
  15. Can they advise on the right insurance for you?
  16. Should I leave the property furnished or unfurnished?

Fees

A large agency will try to claim they have multiple branches so that means they can get better rents and more applicants but this is not the case.  All agents advertise on national property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation, their own websites and other UK property portals.  All agents take professional photographs and most make up glossy colour brochures. 

The only thing you will receive by instructing a larger agency is larger fees.  

Try to establish what the fees are.  The agency will have to undertake the day to day management of your rental property.  Corporate agencies cannot negotiate on fees as they are bound by company rules.  A smaller independent letting agency can offer you a package that better meets your needs so your income will be greater.  They can also offer incentive deals which you should take advantage of as this means the prospect of saving £1000s 

What About My Mortgage?

If you have a mortgage on the house then you will need to inform your mortgage company.  They will probably ask this to be transferred to a buy-to-let mortgage.  A buy-to-let mortgage means that you will now be entitled to let your home to a tenant, the mortgage company can help you through this process.  They will ask you to show what income the property will be receiving on a monthly or yearly basis.  Talk to your mortgage broker as they can help you through the process. 

Will I Be Taxed On The Income?

The answer to this is yes.  You will be subject to tax as this is an income.  However, you will be able to offset certain expenses against the income, but it’s best to speak to a local accountant or property adviser.  If you are moving to another country I would also suggest looking into the countries tax laws as certain countries may also require you pay additional income tax.

Conclusion

As an Expat Landlord you need to make sure that you use the right letting agent.  Make sure you ask the right questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions as this is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make and could be the most costly exercise if it’s not dealt with in the most professional way.

Visit our Expat Landlord Letting Agent page to find out how much you could rent your property for.

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