Rules on Letting Out Your Home for a Short Period
If you need to let your home out in the short term, but don’t want to make it a permanent arrangement, there are certain things that you will need to take into consideration. Most of the rules that apply to letting out a property full time still apply to you, so it’s not just an easy option and you’ll definitely need to put some thought into whether it’s what you really want to do.Of course, it’s always better to have someone in a house than to leave it empty if you are going to be away for a while, so the short let option certainly has some advantages. And you can make some money from the property in your absence.
A short let can turn out to be a profitable option, as you may be able to charge a higher rent than you would if you were letting a property out full time. You will need to check that there’s nothing in the terms of your lease (if you’re thinking of sub-letting) and also that you’ve made all of the appropriate arrangements with mortgage providers and insurance companies. It’s also a good idea to check with your local authority about the validity of a short let, because some of them won’t allow lets that are less than six months in duration.
Using a Letting Agent to Handle a Short LetThere are specialist agencies that are experienced in dealing with short let arrangements, and it could be worth talking to one of these if you don’t feel confident in going it alone. This would be especially helpful if you’re going away for a while and might not be available to carry out maintenance on the property.
Responsibilities of a Short Let LandlordAs with long term lets, you will have to make sure that all of the furniture in the property complies with the relevant safety legislation, and that all the vital safety checks are carried out before you make the property available for a short let. This is your legal responsibility.
You’ll also be expected to offer the property fully furnished, and this includes everyday items such as cutlery, towels and bed linen. If you’re not happy with a stranger using your personal items, you could always put those into storage and buy inexpensive replacements. It’s a good idea to put any personal, treasured items in storage or leave them with someone to look after, too.
The responsibility for all of the household utility bills will remain with you, as a landlord, if you let your property out on a short let basis. You’ll need to make sure that arrangements are in place to carry on paying those bills. Obviously you can account for this in the rent that you charge your short term tenants, and they will in effect be paying the bill even if it’s in your name.
If you use an agency to handle the letting, they can keep an eye on the amount of fuel that your short let tenant uses, and if there are any huge hikes in the usage you should expect them to investigate. It’s harder to keep an eye on things if you’re handling it yourself, but you need to make sure that you don’t let this area of responsibility fall off of your radar, as you don’t want to return to an enormous bill or the news that the massive rise in electricity was down to the illegal cannabis farm set up on your property!