If you own an empty property but do not wish to sell it, it may make sense to rent it out. Not only would this provide a home for someone who needs it, but would also generate an income for you as owner.
A number of options are available.
Through a letting agent
There are a number of private letting agents who provide services in Conwy, and are generally able to advise on market rents, property standards, finding and assessing potential tenants, drafting tenancy agreements and property management. As with all organisations, letting agents operate to different standards, so please ensure you make appropriate enquiries to satisfy yourself of what they will offer before you enter into an agreement with them. Most reputable accommodation providers are registered with one or more of the following:
National Approved Letting Scheme
Association of Residential Letting Agencies
National Association of Estate Agents
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors – who also have a guide on letting a property and choosing an agent
Letting through a Housing Association
Some Housing Associations are interested in letting and managing privately owned property. For more information visit the HAWS website (http://www.haws.org.uk/services/) or the Tai Elwy website (http://www.taielwy.co.uk/)
Letting it yourself
Some owners choose to let and manage the property themselves. The law stipulates that there are certain rights and obligations associated with being a landlord, and you should be aware of these when letting property.
The Landlord Handbook, produced by ANUK and LACORS is an essential read for all landlords and potential landlords, and can be downloaded free.
In Wales, the national Landlord Accreditation Scheme provides existing and prospective landlords with access to training and information. Landlords must attend a landlord development session and sign a ‘code of conduct’ in order to become accredited.
Further information on becoming a landlord, and many of the obligations and regulations you need to be familiar with, can be found on the following links:
Government Department for Communities and Local Government
Residential Landlords’ Association
Electrical Safety Council - A Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety
Health & Safety Executive
Gas safety FAQs for Landlords and Letting Agents - A guide to landlords duties
Before letting a property
If you have a mortgage on your property, you are likely to require the consent of your lender before making it available to rent to someone else.
You may also need to obtain consent from (or at least to consult with):
- Your freeholder - if you are thinking of letting out a leasehold flat
- The Council’s Planning Department – if you are intending to make structural changes to the property, or change its use
- The Council’s Housing and Pollution section – who will advise on the standard a property must meet in order to be let
- The Council Tax department
- Your property insurance company
- Your tax office, accountant or financial adviser
Rent Smart Wales
Since 23rd November 2015 all landlords in Wales are required to be registered with Rent Smart Wales. In addition if a landlord is letting or managing a property, he or she must also be licensed. For more information visit www.rentsmart.gov.wales
For more information about empty homes and bringing them back into use, please contact the Housing Strategy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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