Is Renting Out A Period Property Dangerous?

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If you are the proud owner of a period property – whether it’s a second home or a former family abode that you just can’t bear to sell, you might be pondering offering your home for rent. If you do, you could expect to receive an impressive monthly yield. The most recent Rental Index reveals the average rental price achieved for a home ranges from around £500 to £2,000 each month, depending on the location.

As part of the rental boom, landlords have snapped up city-centre flats to attract couples and young professionals. This has made family homes and even flats that are more distinguished than the boxed white rooms that flood the market particularly desirable. If you own a property that is a little out of the ordinary, something with character and personality, you could expect to receive a larger rental income – but though your risk will also be greater.

Tenant Damage

This is because with any rental, there is a risk that fixtures and fittings will be damaged by tenants. While you can increase the size of the security deposit you require for a period property, the fixtures and fittings that make your property stand out will be expensive to repair or replace – if they can be replaced at all (this guide advises what to look out for before returning security deposits to tenants). Renting period properties therefore requires careful consideration and closer management. Having insurance from a provider such as Simple in place will protect you financially against any damage, but taking preventative steps early in the process is a necessity too.

At a basic level this means meeting potential tenants and thoroughly checking references, but you will also want to build specific exclusions into their contract too. If you are concerned that family pets may decide to chew on your 17th century fireplace, a ‘no pets’ rule could be enforced. On a practical level it could also be better to remove any valuable furniture from the home and offer it part or unfurnished. This will make it appeal to many families who have often built up their own collections.

Listed Buildings

However, there is an important distinction to make between a period home and one that is listed. Listed buildings are on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, and are thus protected by law. It means that any changes to the property are tightly restricted, so when it comes to insurance, listed buildings are a special case. Should a period property be damaged, the owner is likely to want the property to be restored to its original standard, but is not required to do so. Yet as this article explains, a building being listed means the owner is legally obliged to ensure that this level of restoration is completed. This can be extremely expensive, so you’ll need specialist insurance that will cover the extra cost.

Considering the added risk, if you decide to rent a period or listed property, then you may want to keep closer watch on your tenants, while still respecting their rights as per the tenancy agreement. For those landlords who live a long distance from the property, local help may be required through the use of property management firm, or even a trusted relative or family friend, to carry out regular checks.

If you’d like to trial life as a landlord, offering your accommodation on a short-term let basis will give you the opportunity to highlight any potential problems and troubleshoot them, or to reconsider the idea altogether.

This guest post was sponsored by Simple Insurance who protect both your investment and income.
Simple Landlord Insurance

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